The American People Archive by Alwyn Scott Turner

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Alwyn Scott Turner/Documentary Portraits

The Musical Composition based on natural harmonic sequences titled: The Golden Theme - Variations and Improvisations by Alwyn Scott Turner.Abstract of Priority dated May 1, 2012, Published on by MusicScience: THE GOLDEN THEME - TradeMark & Copyright by Alwyn Scott Turner. All Rights Reserved Pending Patents. _____________________

Selections from the Documentary Photography Portfolios:

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE PORTFOLIO  Master Selections from the Documentary Photography Portfolios - The American People Archive.  

The Oregon Coast Portfolio 1984-2012/ Master Selections from the North Oregon Coast Portfolios in The American People Archive, including series of images from Seaside, Gearhart, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Oceonside, and elsewhere - plus a Portfolio of Documentary Landscapes from Spruce Run.

Documentary Portraits Portfolio

Famous Americans
A Selection of  documentary portraits and video images of personalities in various fields of endeavor during The Golden Age of America. Including: Rev.Martin Luther King, Jr. (Civil Rights Leader), Robert (Bobbie) Kennedy (Pres.Candidate), Pres.Richard Nixon, Pres.Lyndon Johnson,  Chief Justice Earl Warren (U.S.Supreme Court), Nelson Rockefeller (Pres.Candidate), Hubert Humphrey (Pres.Candidate), Eugene MacCarthy (Pres.Candidate, George Wallace (Pres.Candidate), Gus Hall (American Communist Party), Walter Reuther (UAW Labor Leader), Henry Ford (Ford Mtr Co.),  Ralph Nader (Pres.Candidate), , John Szarkowski (MoMA Photography Curator), Samuel J. Wagstaff, Jr.,(Photography Curator & Collector), Ken Burns (FilmMaker), Alfred Eisenstadt (TimeLife Photojournalist), Gorden Parks (photographer), Yousuf Karsh (Studio Portrait Photographer), Cornell Capa (Photo Curator), Ralph Ginsberg (Avant-Garde Publisher), Timothy Leary (LSD Proponent), Elia Kazan (Film Director), Henry Fonda (Film Actor), Isaac Perlman (Violinist), Doc Watson (Bluegrass Musician), Willie Nelson, (Singer Musician), Pete Fountain (New Orleans Jazz Clarinetist), Herbie Mann (Jazz Flutist), Tiny Tim (Ukulele Actor), , MoonDog (NYC Poet), Eddie Rickenbacker (WW1 Ace & Author), Monte Montana (Rodeo Trick Rider), Larry Mehan (5-Time Rodeo Champion), Peter MacDonald (Navajo Indian Leader), Chief Grey Squirrel (Pueblo de Taos), Gordie Howe (Hockey Player), Jerry Cooney (Boxer), Tex Cobb (Boxer), Sylvester Stallone (Film Actor & Fight Manager),  Mordecai Persky (Editor & Publisher), Frank Ditto (Black Activist), and More.    Background Composition for the Portfolio: MusicScience: The Golden Theme: Let's Cross Over The River/ composed and performed on Piano by Alwyn Scott Turner in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  (BackStory: This is the last formal portrait made of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It was made during his last public speaking performance in Detroit, Michigan in late March, on the evening prior to his airplane departure for Memphis, Tennessee - He was assassinated a few days later.  He had agreed to do an interview/portrait with me after his final speech in Detroit, and after making this documentary portrait - his schedule was running late to do the hour-long interview - he agreed to write an article to be published with his historical portrait.  On the day he was assassinated, I received the article titled: 'The Other America" - by Martin Luther King, Jr. - Two weeks after his assassination, I published this documentary portrait with his article in The Detroit Magazine - which I owned.   In this last speech written to be published by Martin Luther King, Jr. - titled 'The Other America' - arrived by mail on the day of his assassination, and was subsequently published in The Detroit Magazine - Dr. King states in his opening paragraph:

"I still believe that freedom is the bonus you receive for telling the truth - ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. I do not see how we will ever solve the turbulent problem of race confronting our nation until there is an honest confrontation with it and a willing search for the truth and a willingness to admit the truth when we discover it."


The Detroit People Portfolio 1969/ Documentary Portraits. Self-published in 1970, Photographs of The Detroit People by Alwyn Scott Turner  was distrubuted through the bookstores at The Museum of Modern Art and The George Eastman House - with the assistance of John Szarkowki and Minor White. The book of 142 full-frame black & white documentary photographs was credited by Collier's Encyclopedia as being the publication that stated the self-publishing industry, and influential in reviving the photography publishing market, subsequently leading to a computer era of self-publishing. Szarkowski at MoMA purchased several prints for their permanent collection, and offered to exhibit The Detroit Portfolio. However, the larger documentary project on The American People was in an early stage of compilation, and with Szarkowski's assistance, funded by Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowship grants.

Documentary Kodachromes Portfolio 1969-79/ Color Images Verite: The American People.  A selection of color prints from Kodachrome sllides selected from various Portfolios of documentary photographs in The American People Archive. Dedicated to Minor White and the curatorial staff at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY., whose assistance made this Portfolio possible.

The Samuel J. Wagstaff, Jr. Memorial Portfolio/ Opening Night Reception at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Spring, 1969. Photographs of the opening night reception at Sam Wagstaff's first curated exhibition at the DIAPortraits of attending artists and local celebrities. Including photographs of Wagstaff and photographs of Alwyn Scott Turner by Wagstaff. The newspaper review photographic outlay of the event by Alwyn Scott Turner, Contributing Editor to the Sunday Magazine section of The Detroit Free and The Detroit News, which published my story essay on Wagsstaff - which brought him to national attention and led to his awakened interest and subsequent knowledge in collecting photography as works of art, and his historic role as an archive collector of historical aesthetic photographs....and by the power of his personal insight and wealth, established the vintage photographic print market.

The Washington DC Portfolio. November, 1969/  Moratorium Day Rally. The largest national massive Rally of citizens in American history, as a half million people in the nation's Capitol gathered to demonstrate and celebrate their support for President Nixon's pledge to the American people that he would end The Vietnam War. Consequently, what was scheduled as a violent protest against the war became a victory celebration for advocates of peace and freedom of speech, and the right of civil protest to challenge tyrantic totalitarian authority. This historical Portfolio is dedicated to the memory of the peace policies of President John F. Kennedy, assasinated because of his efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons into the Middle East.

The Avant-Garde Magazine #13 Portfolio. 1970/ A Monumental Portfolio of Photographs by Alwyn Scott Turner.  The first prominant magazine of the era to publish an entire issue of 70 documentary photographs printed full frame, uncropped, uncontrived and unposed images, sequenced and justaposed - images not influenced by editorial assignment, making a clear distinction between the historical integrity of documentary content as opposed to that of supervised photojournalism - and with this issue of Avant-Garde, as a sequel to the self-publilshed book of images on The Detroit People Portfolio, was a primary factor in establishing a public interest in documentary portraits as an art form for publication. Dedicated to Ralph Ginsberg, Editor and Publisher of Avant-Garde Magazine, for his insight and initiative in publishing an entire issue of documentary photographs when publishing photographic books was not being considered in the marketplace.

Documentary Portraits Portfolio/The American Communist Party Leaders. Portraits of Gus Hall and leaders of The American Communist Party - Leaders photographed at their headquarters in New York City. Dedicated to James Angleton, former head of the CIA whose assistance made this Portfolio possible.

The New York Portfolio 1969-84/ Dedicated to John Szarkowski, former Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. A photographer/curator who was instrumental in photography being accepted as a fine art, and how encouraged and promoted opportunity for artist when the commercial market did not exist.

The New England Portfolio 1969/Dedicated whose documentary portraits of ordinary people set a precedent for reality in film.

The Tampa Portfolio 1970. The Missing Portfolio consisting of 144 B&W negatives that are being retained by AOL Time/Life, which was requested by Life photo Editor Alice Rose George with the promise of returning them to me after their perusal. These negatives have never been returned by Time/Life. The documentary images were made at the Florida State Mental Hospital where indigent elderly citizens were being commited to the mental institution. A few of the images were part of a documentary expose that was published in the Tampa Times/Tribune Sunday Magazine when I was Editor of the journal.

The Cheyenne Portfolio 1970-71.  Dedicated to John Denver, Singer and Musician, who personified the American spirit during The Golden Age of America

The New Orleans Portfolio 1971-74. The French Quarter Portfolio was presented by the New Orleans Museum of Art as a One-Man Exhibition in 1974, and the exhibit of 33 archival prints were purchased for their permanent collection. The Images were again exhibited recently as a part of a four-man exhibition with Van Der Zee, Alvarez Bravo and Doisneau - titled: Inner Cities.

The Rappahannock Portfolio 1974-78/  Dedicated to James Angleton, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose assistance made this Portfolio possible.

The Philadelphia Portfolio 1978-84/  Dedicated to the many people whose silent consent to the historical documentary portraits in this Portfolio - to the people that live in this great cultural city...that they refer to as Philly. 

The Oregon Coast Portfolio 1984-2012/The Oregon Coast Portfolio/ Master Selections from the North Oregon Coast Portfolios in The American People Archive, including series of images from Seaside, Gearhart, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Oceonside, Astoria and elsewhere - plus a Porfolio of Documentary and Abstract Landscapes.  Dedicated to Sandra Claire Foushee, Master Poet and Editor of Poetry & Prose Annual, and 2010 winner of The William Stafford Annual Award for Poetry for her entry Surfing On Intuition.  Known for her clarity of style, sense harmony and intimate reality of substance, and the enlightened nature of her higher consciousness - and to other poets whose influence focused the light of consciousness on the vitality of life - rather than the darkness that prevades the contemporary conntrol of poetry and prose.

Documentary Portraits/Street Images, USA. An historical point of view Frontal documentary portraits of an historical point of view on The American People - a comprehensive portfolio of ordinary people, unposed and uncontrived, made with their silent consent. Accomplished without painting the camera black or secretly photographing from a distance, or with a telephoto lens. Szarkowski suggested calling this innovative approach to documentary photographs as 'Frontal Documentary Portraits' - and acquired a selection of images for their permanent collection at MoMA.

Images photographed on the streets of Detroit, New York, New England, Tampa, Cheyenne, New Orleans, Rappahannock County, Philadelphia, Seaside, Oregon, and More.


The American People Archive was funded by grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. A selection of vintage prints are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the New Orleans Museum of Art.  Portfolios consist of sequenced images arranged by the Artist.

One-of-Kind Original 16x20 Archival Master Exhibiton prints made by the Artist exists. The Black & White prints were made from vintage 35mm TriX Film, and the color prints from vintage 35mm Kodachrome color slides.  All prints are printed full-frame and unmanipulated, The print is signed, sealed and autographed by Alwyn Scott Turner. None of the original images were made as a product of commercial or editorial direction.

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