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From the series Martin Luther King Funeral, 1968

Dean Brown, American, 1936 - 1973

Photograph taken in United States, North and Central America


Orthochromatic film

Image: 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches (8.9 x 11.4 cm) Sheet: 3 13/16 x 5 1/16 inches (9.7 x 12.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Theodore T. Newbold and Helen Cunningham, 2004

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Brown, who was primarily a landscape photographer, turned his camera to a television screen on June 8, 1968, during the live broadcast of the funeral honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Public aspects of the services were aired nationwide, creating an opportunity for mourners outside of Atlanta, Georgia, to experience a sense of participation in the ceremonies. As the photographer explained, "This was the way in which all but a few Americans saw the funeral. For them, the TV broadcast was the reality." Brown believed that televised events were capable of evoking a "deep emotional response because we witness them on television as they are happening. We are there." Brown's series demonstrates that the modern spectator's experience of events is often filtered through the mass media.