Paul Fusco’s “RFK Funeral Train” Portfolio Headed for the High

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© Paul Fusco

Great news from the High Museum:
The photography department has acquired twenty photographs by photographer Paul Fusco from The Robert F. Kennedy Funeral Train (1968). On June 8, 1968, Robert Kennedy’s body was transported by train to Washington, D.C., for burial at Arlington Cemetery. On board the train was Paul Fusco, a photojournalist on assignment for LOOK Magazine. As the train made its way down the Eastern Seaboard, thousands of mourners came out to line the railway tracks and pay their final respects. Fusco documented the mourners, taking approximately 2,000 pictures during the eight-hour train journey. Fusco’s photographs simultaneously tell individual stories while capturing the collective emotion of the American public. Unfortunately, Fusco’s photographs were never published by LOOK, and the magazine folded three years later. Fusco was able to retain 200 of the pictures, but the rest were donated to the Library of Congress along with LOOK’s photographic archives. The portfolio remained unpublished until 1998, when it was featured in GEORGE magazine to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Kennedy’s death. The images have since been published in two separate books and have been exhibited internationally. This portfolio of 20 cibachrome prints is part of a limited edition of 15 sets that have been made expressly for museums. It is the first work by Paul Fusco to enter the High’s collection, and it will complement the Museum’s prominent archive of more than 300 photographs that document pivotal events of the civil rights era.
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