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Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation


2011-138

Larry Burrows
British, 1926-1971
from LIFE Magazine

Vietnamese Woman Mourning Her Dead Husband, April 1969
Dye coupler print

Gift of Howard G. Davis, III A.K.A. David Davis, 2011.138

The imperial capital Huè was part of the 1968 Tet Offensive, a series of surprise attacks launched by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops on cities and hamlets throughout South Vietnam.  Here, a woman returns to her razed home in April 1969 finding the bagged remains of her husband, one of forty-seven recovered from a mass grave. The terrible emotive power of the widow’s wailing is coupled with Burrows’ ability to capture perfect compositional triangulation, a technique reminiscent of Renaissance pietà paintings and sculpture.



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