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Unknown Photographer



Actor Gary Merrill (right) talks with a Civil Rights worker after arriving in Selma from New York, March 20, 1965
Vintage wire photograph on paper

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.321

Commentary
Actor Gary Merrill (right) talks with a Civil Rights worker after arriving in Selma from New York. Merrill says he will be here for the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights march happening on March 21, Alabama.

The Selma to Montgomery Marches were three protest marches held in 1965 along the 54-mile (87 km) highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery. The marches were organized by nonviolent activists to demonstrate the desire of black citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression. They were part of a broader voting rights movement underway in Selma and throughout the American South. By highlighting racial injustice, the marches contributed to passage that year of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement of the Civil Rights Movement.

Marks
On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: United Press International Stamp.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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