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Unknown Photographer

An American prisoner of war is examined by a Japanese doctor, 1944
Vintage wire photograph with airbrushing on paper
7 7/16 x 8 11/16 in. (18.89 x 22.07 cm)

Creation Place: Asia
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.485

An American prisoner of war is examined by a Japanese doctor, according to the caption on this picture from the Berlin Illustrierte Zeitung, headed “Americans on Shikoku.” The caption said further, “Curious but trusting, the captured sailor watches the Japanese camp doctor”.

Sheet: 7 15/16 x 9

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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  • Image Dimensions: 7 7/16 x 8 11/16 in. (18.89 x 22.07 cm)

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