Sunday, January 20, 2019

MANA Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo by Yousuf Karsh, Dec 23, 1908 - July 13, 2002 | Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America

A man constantly on the move, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was most often photographed in action by those covering the events of the civil-rights movement. 

This likeness by renowned portraitist, Yousuf Karsh is a different kind of image—a formal portrait that utilizes pose and lighting rather than environment to identify King as a leader and a visionary. 

Karsh made the photograph in August 1962, when King returned to Atlanta following the prolonged and dispiriting struggle for desegregation in Albany, Georgia. With very little time to work, Karsh photographed his subject in the only space available—a corner of King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

Recalling the circumstances of that sitting, Karsh noted, "Nowhere could [King] relax when constantly beset by friends and aides wishing him well, commiserating on his difficulties, congratulating him on his return, and planning new strategy."

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