The People's View - about the Robert F Kennedy funeral train (in progress)

Elizabeth NJ_ photographer:Rich Taylor

2018 will mark half a century since Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral train made its way from New York City to Washington DC. I am currently working on an exhibition and book of vernacular photographs that were taken of the funeral train on June 8, 1968.

Several photographers, including Magnum photographer Paul Fusco, traveled on the funeral train and photographed the entire journey from the train. The main subject of these images is the people who stand along the tracks, paying their last respects and expressing bewilderment and sorrow.
In my project, I aim to reverse the perspective that Fusco offered in his touching book, RFK Funeral Train, by showing the photographs of the last journey as taken by these spectators. The people along the track photographed the train for themselves in an attempt to hold on to a moment in history.

Today, visual fragments of this historic train journey lie hidden in people’s homes in boxes and family albums.
My wish is to link these images together once more, just as the people stood side by side along the railroad. With this archive of personal images, I hope to add a new chapter to a collective memory that is slowly passing on.

On my research trips I visit almost all of the places that the funeral train passed through in an effort to track down people who took photographs of the train passing. So far, I have collected a variety of intriguing images, numbering about 170, including blurred snapshots, black-and-white photographs, beautiful Kodachrome slides, a few 8mm home movies, and many personal stories.

The project will be materialized as a book and a multi screen projection in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco in March 2018 and in the International Center of Photography, in New York City, in May 2018

The book will be published by Fw:Books, in collaboration with Magnum Foundation, NYC