[Automobile Accident, San Francisco]

Unknown (American)

Gelatin silver print with applied media
Image: 21.5 x 29 cm (8 7/16 x 11 7/16 in.) Frame: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2008
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Newspapers often relied on photo illustration to circumvent the limitations of photography as a method of reporting. It was easy enough for news photographers to cover scheduled events—state visits, political speeches and rallies—but sudden calamities often occurred when no cameras were present. In such cases, editors at the San Francisco Examiner would create a “photo-diagram”—a photograph of the crime or accident scene, usually taken after the fact, with a diagrammatic reconstruction of the event drawn onto the picture by hand. Here, arrows and numbered circles trace the careening path of a stolen car down a hilly street in San Francisco. Black crosses mark the spots where the halves of the victim’s body landed.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Stamped in ink on verso: "AUTOS-ACCIDENTS-S.F."; "RECEIVED EXAMINER // REFERENCE LIBRARY // JUL 20 1953"; San Francisco Chronicle newspaper clipping with reproduction of photograph and caption affixed to verso; stamped in ink on clipping JUL 20 1953"

  • Provenance

    San Francisco Examiner (deaccessioned); [various dealers]; [Winter Works on Paper, New York]