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Unknown Photographer

Protecting firemen from snipers on Detroit's still-smoldering West Side, police crouch behind vehicles with rifles as firemen battle the 12th Street blaze, July 1967
Vintage wire photograph on paper
8 5/8 x 6 15/16 in. (21.91 x 17.62 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.1129

Protecting firemen on Detroit's still-smoldering West Side, police at right crouch behind their vehicles with rifles at the ready as firemen battle the 12th Street blaze. Snipers have been harassing firefighters in the riot-torn area.

The 1967 Detroit Riot, also known as the 1967 Detroit Rebellion or 12th Street Riot, was the bloodiest race riot in the "Long, hot summer of 1967." Comprised mostly of confrontations between black people and police, the riot began in the early morning hours of Sunday July 23, 1967. It began after a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar on the city's Near West Side. It exploded into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in American history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot. The scale of the riot was the worst in the United States since the 1863 New York City draft riots during the American Civil War. It was not surpassed until the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. The 1967 Detroit Riot was prominently featured in the news media, with live television coverage, extensive newspaper reporting, and stories in Time and Life magazines. The staff of the Detroit Free Press won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for general local reporting for their coverage.

On verso: manuscript title and newspaper caption with date stamp affixed.

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: 8 5/8 x 6 15/16 in. (21.91 x 17.62 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 9 1/16 x 7 7/8 in. (23.02 x 20 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

Your current search criteria is: Keyword is "JSE" and [Object]Period is "Contemporary (post 1945)" and [Object]Century is "20th c".

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