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Unknown Photographer



Majdanek: the people of Lublin mourn before a great pit filled with the bodies of relatives and friends, brutally murdered by the Germans, 1940
Vintage wire photograph on paper

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.175

Commentary
Majdanek, the Lublin annihilation camp: The people of Lublin mourn publicly before a great pit filled with the bodies of relatives and friends brutally murdered by the Germans. Similar scenes are being repeated in many countries of Europe, 1940.

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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