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Paul Cannon

Chicago police check people in a station wagon in front of the Chicago home of Black Muslim prophet Elijah Muhammad, February 22, 1965
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 1/4 x 8 13/16 in. (15.88 x 22.38 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: P2021.13.1085

Police Guard Sect Leader: Chicago police check people in a station wagon in front of the Chicago home of Black Muslim prophet Elijah Muhammad today. A woman in the station wagon is a Muhammad aide seeking to enter the residence, on Chicago's South Side. Police took action was after the assassination in New York City of Malcolm X, the former assistant and spokesman for the Black Muslim's leader.

Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Robert Poole; October 7, 1897 – February 25, 1975) was a black religious leader who led the Nation of Islam (NOI) from 1934 until his death in 1975. He was a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali, as well as his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed.

On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: date stamp and newspaper 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: 6 1/4 x 8 13/16 in. (15.88 x 22.38 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8 1/16 x 9 15/16 in. (20.48 x 25.24 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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