Exhibitions/ Art Object

[Bruno Richard Hauptmann in Electric Chair]

Artist:
John Wolters (American, active 1930s)
Date:
1936
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 19.3 x 24.2 cm (7 5/8 x 9 1/2 in.) Frame: 35.6 x 43.2 cm (14 x 17 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Collection of Alan Lloyd Paris
Not on view
In spite of the universal ban on cameras in American death chambers, news editors have long recognized the public’s hunger for eyewitness images of high-profile executions. When Bruno Richard Hauptmann was due to be executed for the kidnapping and murder of the young son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the International News Photos agency commissioned an artist to craft a photographic composite of the condemned man being strapped into the electric chair by two prison guards. The grisly image was created by staging the scene with actors then pasting headshots of Hauptmann and his executioners onto their bodies.