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Manson, Larry Flynt, Abbie Hoffman, O.J. and other infamous folks depicted by court sketch artists

Abbie Hoffman’s Viet Cong flag tug-of-war with deputy marshal Ronald Dobroski during the Chicago Eight trial as depicted by Howard Brodie.
Courtroom sketches in the United States date back to the 17th Century Salem Witch Trials, and were a necessary staple of reporting on court cases up until recent years when the courtroom was off-limits to photographers and television cameras. It wasn’t until 2014 that all 50 states allowed cameras in the courtroom, though by the late ‘80s most states already had. 

As portraits that exist solely out of the necessity for historically documenting legal proceedings, such sketches have never been considered high art, but a current exhibition of sketches housed at the Library of Congress shines a spotlight on some of the talents behind these documents.

The Library of Congress’ exhibition, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations,” features a selection of the Library’s collection of more than 10,000 courtroom drawings, many of which were donated to the library by the estates of the artists themselves.

From the Library of Congress’ website:

The exhibition begins with the work of Howard Brodie, who popularized reportage-style courtroom illustrations with his documentation of the Jack Ruby trial in 1964 for CBS Evening News.  Brodie supported and encouraged the first generation of artists who created the artwork for television and print media.  Brodie donated his trial drawings to the Library of Congress, which spurred the development of the courtroom-illustration collections.

In addition to Brodie, the artists represented in the exhibition include Marilyn Church, Aggie Kenny, Pat Lopez, Arnold Mesches, Gary Myrick, Joseph Papin, David Rose, Freda Reiter, Bill Robles, Jane Rosenberg and Elizabeth Williams.

The exhibition is being held in the South Gallery on the second floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building and runs through Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. It is free to the public.

Enjoy, below, a gallery of some of the more interesting pieces in the collection:

The New York Black Panther trial as depicted by Howard Brodie. Twenty-one members of the New York Black Panther Party faced charges of conspiracy to bomb several sites in New York City. They were acquitted of all 156 charges on May 12, 1971.

Bobby Seale, sketched by Howard Brodie, taking notes while bound and gagged at the Chicago Eight trial.

John Hinckley, failed assassin of Ronald Reagan, shown by artist Freda Reiter in front of a television broadcasting his obsession, Jodie Foster.

Many more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel
06:04 am
It’s what we deserve: David Hasselhoff and Marla Maples butcher ‘If I Were a Carpenter’

It’s not the thing David Hasselhoff is most known for in America, but he did have a singing career. In 1989, perhaps capitalizing on the stirrings of liberty in the Soviet bloc, he released a single called “Looking for Freedom,” which was a #1 hit in guess what country. Just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, on New Year’s Eve 1989, “the Hoff” performed the song at the Wall itself.

Knight Rider had been a solid hit for Hasselhoff in the mid-1980s and shortly became an inexplicable sensation in the German-speaking countries. In 1989 Hasselhoff took on the role of Mitch Buchannon in Baywatch, which would become an iconic pageant of T&A throughout the 1990s.

Having successfully solidified his career with a second hit show, in 1994 Hasselhoff was having thoughts about reigniting his music career. He planned a lavish pay-per-view live concert in Atlantic City, scheduling the concert and transmission for a certain Friday in June—the exact date was June 17, 1994. The New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets were fighting it out in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but that couldn’t be helped.

Hasselhoff could not have known that the L.A. Police Department would choose that day to arrange the arrest of O.J. Simpson on murder charges. As all people on earth as well as certain lifeforms on Saturn know, a distraught Simpson declined the opportunity to turn himself in and instead embarked on a slow-moving car chase that lasted several hours, helicopter footage of which dominated the TV ratings for the day (and evening on the East Coast) like few events before or since. Hasselhoff’s investment of several hundreds of thousands of dollars would yield next to no viewership.

In attendance in Atlantic City that night was Donald Trump, and in fact (according to Hasselhoff) it was Trump who informed Hasselhoff that the chase was underway.

Marla Maples had become Trump’s second wife in 1993, and for reasons unknown Hasselhoff thought it would be a good idea for him and Marla to attempt to cover Tim Hardin‘s classic song “If I Were a Carpenter,” most memorably covered in 1970 by Johnny Cash and June Carter.

It didn’t turn out as good as that version.

See the video after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider
11:12 am