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PALFI, Marion.
Invisible in America.
Kansas: University of Kansas Museum of Art, 1973.

(254 x 204 mm), pp.[176]. 74 black-and-white photographs, foreword by Lee D. Witkin, catalogue by James L. Enyeart. Black perfect bound wrappers, title embossed to front; light toning to page edges, light rubbing to edges and at spine. Signed by Palfi in black ink to title page. Near-fine.

First edition, signed copy. Marion Palfi was born in Berlin 1907 to a Hungarian father and Polish mother. After a short career in theatre, she opened a photographic studio in Berlin and then Amsterdam before emigrating to the United States in 1940. In New York she joined the Photo League and became involved in the struggle for civil rights, after developing friendships with Langston Hughes among others, she become one of the only white photographers of her time to regularly contribute to the black press. This exhibition catalogue includes photographs from a number of photo-essays, including several pictures from ‘There is No More Time’, a series made in 1949 in Irwinton, Georgia. Palfi travelled to Irwinton a few days after Caleb Hill, a young black man, had been killed by a lynch mob. She spent two months there and attempted to create an in-depth portrait of the town through the people who lived there, photographing local residents and a number of high-ranking members of the community, many of whom were openly members of the Ku Klux Klan. Eventually on receiving death threats she had to leave, but not before she was able to contact and photograph Josie Hill, the victim’s widow, of whom she made one of her most well-known portraits.

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