May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 278

Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
(KING, MARTIN LUTHER.) [Withers, Ernest; photographer.] Group of 7 photographs of Dr. King and other scenes from the Memphis strike. Silver prints, each about 8 x 10 inches; minimal wear; stamps on verso as described. Memphis, TN, 1968 and undated

Additional Details

Like the preceding lot, the first three of these prints bear the inked stamps of "Chief Photographer Mark Stansbury," dated March 1968; he was a well-known protégé of Withers. The next two are laid down on cardboard, one of them is blank on verso but is credited to Withers on the cover of the April 2018 Memphis Magazine and elsewhere, and the last is apparently a much later print bearing the inked stamp of "Ernest C. Withers, photographer" on verso. The photographers were found in a manila envelope bearing a circa 1960s inked stamp reading "Ernest C. Withers, Photographer" with his telephone number and 236 E. McLemore, Memphis address.
Images include: Vertical image of a worried Dr. King surrounded by a crowd, with small printed label reading "The Final March" in the lower margin, dated 28 March 1968 on verso A horizontal photograph of the same date with a happier Dr. King greeting supporters A horizontal photograph of police and national guards on a Memphis street after the demonstration, 29 March 1968 Dr. King seated with AFSCME president Jerome Wurf, taken at the same sitting as another Withers photograph of King and Wurf, March 1968 King and an unidentified man (small scratch in image) King with hands clasped at a microphone, [3 April 1968] News photographers and a small boy posed on the back of a truck bearing Tennessee plates.
The photographs are accompanied by an illustrated pamphlet, "Five Years Later . . . Local 1733 American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, 1968-1973," [12] pages including wrappers. One of the photographs (#2 above) appears as an illustration in the pamphlet, captioned "Dr. King is greeted on arrival to lead a march through downtown." We trace no other copies of the pamphlet in OCLC or at auction.