Wife of a Lynch Victim, Irwinton, Georgia


Marion Palfi (American, born Germany, 1907–1978)


1949, printed 1977


Gelatin silver print


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Gift of Ben Bivins

Accession #


On View

On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 100

Born in Germany, Marion Palfi worked as a freelance photographer and portraitist in Berlin before fleeing the Nazis in 1936, eventually marrying an American soldier and emigrating to the United States. Settling in New York, she befriended Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps and soon began to photograph for numerous Black publications and causes. In the late 1940s, she documented the virulent effects of racism and poverty in the United States and published a devastating study on racial violence in Georgia that includes this portrait of the widow of Caleb Hill, the victim of the first reported lynching of 1949.

Image Copyright

© Marion Palfi.

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