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Unknown Photographer

Cesar Chavez sits down with John Giumarra to sign labor contracts for the United Farm Workers with grape growers in Delano, California, July 27, 1973
Vintage wire photograph on paper
9 7/16 x 7 in. (23.97 x 17.78 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: P2021.13.121

Will History Repeat?: Three years ago Cesar Chavez sat down with John Giumarra to sign labor contracts for his United Farm Workers with grape growers in Delano, California, as Auxiliary Bishop Joseph F. Donnelly of the U.S. Bishops Committee on the Farm Labor Dispute and others watched. The contracts expire Sunday night, and there is doubt that many will be renewed. Another large-scale strike and boycott may be at hand.

Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) was an American labor leader and Civil Rights activist. He and Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962. Originally a Mexican-American farm worker, Chavez became the best known Latino American Civil Rights activist. He was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. Chavez' public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers' struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his efforts had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida.

On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: manuscript title and Associated Press stamp.

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: 9 7/16 x 7 in. (23.97 x 17.78 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 9 13/16 x 8 in. (24.92 x 20.32 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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