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Bob Fitch (aka Robert De Witt Fitch)

(Los Angeles, CA, July 20, 1939 - April 29, 2016, Watsonville, CA)

Martin Luther King Jr. Funeral: Jesse Jackson at center with Coretta Scott King at his right and an unidentified woman to his left, April 1968
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on paper
9 9/16 x 6 3/8 in. (24.29 x 16.19 cm)

Creation Place: North America, American
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams
Accession Number: P2021.9.4

From a rare series of intimate photographs of Martin Luther King’s family before and during his funeral, taken by Black Star photographer Bob Fitch.

Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) was an American author, activist and civil rights leader. She was the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. She helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. She took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and worked to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Jesse Jackson (1941-present) is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician. He is the founder of the organizations that merged to form Rainbow/People United to Save Humanity (PUSH). In 1966, he headed the Chicago branch of Operation Breadbasket, a job placement agency for blacks, where one of his key goals was to encourage massive boycotts by black consumers as a means to pressure white-owned businesses to hire blacks and to purchase goods and services from black-owned firms.

Donated to the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College by Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg on June 2, 2021.

On verso: artist’s credit stamp, Black Star stamp and agency stamp.

On verso: Stamped in black ink in center, "Credit: / Bob Fitch / from BLACK STAR [star stamped above text]". Handwritten in graphite in top left corner: "BF-037 6000". Stamped in blue ink near top center: "TRANSWORLD Ftr. Synd. Inc. / Via Ostl, 10 / MILAN". Handwritten in top right corner: "F251" in red ink and "20" handwritten in graphite under that. "65" typed.

Sheet: 10 x 8 1/8

Ferrotyped prints are processed in such a way that they are shiny. The print has a sensitive surface, usually thinner, because it was put through a press while still wet.

Ferrotyped prints have a sensitive surface, usually shiny and thinner, because they are put through a press while still wet. Ferrotyping makes the surface of the photograph smoother. Light does not scatter as much on a smoother surface, so this increases contrast. That makes ferrotyped images better for press photography.

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  • Image Dimensions: 9 9/16 x 6 3/8 in. (24.29 x 16.19 cm)

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