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The Baltimore Architecture Foundation (BAF) and Baltimore Heritage present the Virtual Histories Series: 30 minute live virtual tours and presentations focusing on Baltimore architecture, preservation and history. Hosted every Friday at 1:00 pm EST.
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On June 8 1968, the Robert F Kennedy Funeral Train rode through Baltimore, on its way to Washington D.C., carrying the body of Senator Robert F Kennedy. On board the train was photographer Paul Fusco, who during the journey photographed the many bewildered mourners paying their final respects. A cross-section of American society—Black and White, city-dwellers and country folk—all stared at the slowly passing train.
We hope you’ll join us to hear photographer Rein Jelle Terpstra talk about his project to search for the reverse photographic perspective: pictures and films made by the bystanders that stood along the railroad that day. Here, the mourners do not merely play a role in someone else’s pictures, but are the photographers and filmmakers themselves. With their cameras, they gazed back at the train and recorded it in their own fashion. On his research trips, Terpstra visited almost all of the places that the funeral train passed through in an effort to track down people who took photographs of the train passing. This project is entirely based on memories, snapshots, home movies, and sound, recorded by bystanders standing along the tracks that day.
The project was on show at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, in Les Rencontres D’Arles (France 2018), the International Center of Photography (New York City 2018) and the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2019).
About the Speaker:
Rein Jelle Terpstra teaches fine arts and photography at Minerva Art Academy, Groningen (NL). After a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam), he began investigating the relationships between perception, memory and history by making slideshow installations and books. His work is held in various collections, including the collection of the SFMOMA (San Francisco), MoMA Library (New York), EYE Film Museum (Amsterdam), Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam), The Royal Museum of Arts (Brussels), Yale University Library (New Haven), and the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles). During the spring of 2017, Terpstra undertook a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in Washington, D.C. to work on the subject of this lecture.