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"Where Are the Large Format LIFE Magazine Color Positive Transparencies of the Zapruder Film?"


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I'd be curious to see Gary Mack's answer as well...and not some sort of communication through a third party "sock puppet."

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(text mirrored below, as the LiveJournal link above seems to be appearing and disappearing today. Author is Douglas P. Horne.)

SUMMARY: In April of 1997 I personally located the large format LIFE magazine transparencies of individual Zapruder film frames---the transparencies that had featured so prominently in Josiah Thompson's 1967 book "Six Seconds in Dallas"---in the office of attorney Jamie Silverberg, who at that time was representing the film's owners, the LMH Company. At the time I was a Senior Analyst on the ARRB staff, and was conducting an official ARRB examination of the LMH company's holdings. On December 30, 1999 the LMH Company transferred both the copyright to the Zapruder film, and reportedly, all of its film holdings, to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. (After obtaining a windfall profit of 16 million dollars, plus interest, from the U.S. government---in just compensation for the taking of the film by the Review Board---the LMH company had decided it was time to get rid of the troublesome political albatross around its neck.) On January 26, 2000 the Dallas Morning News published an article about the LMH Company's donation to the Museum, which indicated all of the associated film items had been physically transferred to the museum "nine days ago," and which further stated: "Gary Mack, the Museum's Archivist, was all but whistling Tuesday as he examined what may be the gem of the bunch---oversized transparencies of each Zapruder film frame believed to have been made in 1963 or 1964." It seems reasonable to conclude that this statement by the article's author can only have referred to the same LIFE magazine transparencies which I had discovered in the office of Jamie Silverberg on April 10, 1997. In November of 2010, in response to a question about the whereabouts of the LIFE magazine transparencies made by a visiting researcher, Megan Bryant---the Sixth Floor Museum's Director of Collections---said that the Museum did NOT POSSESS the LIFE magazine transparencies. When she was asked about the January 2000 article in the Dallas Morning News, she stated that the article had been in error. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? I present the details of this mystery below.

DETAILS:

(1) I visited the Washington, D.C. offices of Jamie Silverberg, ESQ., on April 10, 1997 to examine the LMH company's Zapruder film holdings at the request of my boss, Jeremy Gunn (who was General Counsel and head of the research staff for the Assassination Records Review Board). Silverberg was wary of my visit, for he no doubt suspected that the Review Board might engage in a legal taking of any items we found worthy of preservation. (Indeed, the ARRB effectuated a formal "taking" of the so-called "original" Zapruder film---on storage in the National Archives---on April 24, 1997, just 14 days after my visit. To my regret at the time---now my profound regret---the Review Board's taking did not include the LIFE magazine transparencies.) The first time I showed up at his office a few days previous to this---by appointment---I had been rebuffed by one of Silverberg's secretaries; I was told he was too busy and that he would be unable to meet with me, in spite of the fact that I was appearing at a specified time set up by an appointment engineered with him by Jeremy Gunn. Jeremy registered his displeasure over this rebuff, and Silverberg did indeed meet with me the second time I appeared, on April 10, 1997. During the course of this long visit, I made two significant discoveries. First, I discovered that the LMH Company possessed the (at that time) missing first-generation copy of the Z film: the third of three first-generation copies known to exist. Second, I discovered that Silverberg possessed the famous LIFE magazine large format (4" x 5") color positive transparencies, which Josiah Thompson had written about so extensively in his book, "Six Seconds in Dallas." Not only were these transparencies crucial for study of the behavior and reactions of the occupants of the limousine during the assassination, but they were of historical interest because they were clearly the source material used to generate the beautifully clear color picture spreads of the Zapruder film in LIFE magazine in late 1963 (the Memorial Issue), and in 1964 and 1966 editions, as well. Silverberg did not readily produce the large format transparencies; as I now vividly recall, they were not on his typed inventory list, and he produced them as the very last item he removed from his safe, and did so only after repeated and persistent inquiries on my part. I recall thinking that this was odd behavior. On April 11, 1997 I wrote a memo detailing the items I discovered during the inspection the day before in his office. That memo is now on file at the National Archives, and was also published by Rollie Zavada in the Appendices to his report on the Zapruder film. By this time I was accustomed to looking at 4 x 5 inch transparencies, because the color positive transparencies of the JFK autopsy were also of this size. The transparencies of the Zapruder film that I saw in Silverberg's office were of an identical size. I do not recall whether they were Ektachrome or Kodachrome---I believe I failed to make this determination at the time. But they were definitely 4 x 5 inch color positive transparencies of a very high quality, and they were made from frames of the Zapruder film. I still vividly recall looking at the image content in many of the transparencies---and that image content was consistent with the sketches in Josiah Thompson's book (i.e., I recall frames of the limousine close to the Stemmons Freeway Sign). As I now recall, there were scores of transparencies---too many for me to count, at the end of a long day with an unfriendly attorney. (I now wish I had counted them, and had recorded the type of film used.)

(2) On January 26, 2000 the Dallas Morning News published an article written by Mark Wrolstad, titled: "Zapruders Donate JFK Film, Rights." I have a copy of this article today. I attempted to access the article online today by going to the link: dallasnews.com, but could not do so because the article is over ten years old, and the online archives appear to go back only ten years, to calendar year 2001.

I will therefore now quote verbatim from the passages in this article which are germane to this journal entry:

The author explained that the Zapruder family had donated "...its last original duplicate of the film and the copyright to its coveted images to the Sixth Floor Museum."

Items donated, the article explained, included "...the copy of the 26-second film clip itself---as well as other film, frame-by-frame slides and stills."

The article continued: "Mr. Zapruder ordered three so-called first-generation copies of the film when it was processed the day of the assassination. The two he gave to the Secret Service...now rest at the [National] Archives. The third copy, the only one still privately owned, became the Sixth Floor's property when an agreement was signed December 30, capping four months of discussions."

"Mr. West [sixth Floor Museum Executive Director] and an associate carried the film in an archival box on a flight to Dallas nine days ago, along with other materials."

"Part of the 1,900 item donation may be exhibited later this year, but the material must first be cataloged."

"Gary Mack, the Museum's Archivist, was all but whistling Tuesday as he examined what may be the gem of the bunch---oversized transparencies of each Zapruder film frame believed to have been made in 1963 or 1964."

The reader of this journal entry will note that the article's author states as a FACT that Gary Mack had examined the oversized transparencies made in 1963 or 1964. (Presumably, Mark Wrolstad witnessed this examination himself.) Wrolstad then directly quoted Gary Mack, in direct reference to this examination: "These may be in better condition than the original film is today," he said. "We may have something that is better or sharper. Who knows?"

And with this significant quote, the article ended. The article makes it very clear that in January of 2000, the Sixth Floor Museum possessed the large format Zapruder film transparencies made by LIFE, and that Gary Mack had examined them. I find it difficult to believe, and extremely unlikely, that the author, Mark Wrolstad, made up this story out of whole cloth, or was mistaken about such an important fact.

(3) In November of 2010, over ten years later, in response to a question posed by a Museum visitor, Director of Collections Megan Bryant claimed that the Sixth Floor Museum did not possess the transparencies, and that the article in the Dallas Morning News had been in error.

Something is terribly wrong here. If you want to know why the question posed by this journal entry is so important to me, keep reading.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The ad hoc Hollywood Research Group (a label given to that ongoing, informal research effort by me alone, not by its participants) that is studying a 35 mm dupe negative of the extant (so-called "original") Z film (obtained from the National Archives) has discovered startling visual anomalies---what I have described in my book as a "black patch" seen in several frames on the back of JFK's head---that strongly imply that the images in the film have been severely (and crudely) altered. [see chapter 14 in Volume IV of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board," pages 1352-1363.] Since the publication of my book, some in the JFK research community have stated that they see no such anomalies in other versions of the Zapruder film, or in other still images of the Zapruder film. The unseemly insinuations of many of these critics and skeptics are that the Hollywood Research Group may have manipulated or altered its own evidence, in an attempt to prove there was a government coverup of the true facts involved in the assassination (namely, that JFK had a large exit wound in the rear of his head caused by a shot from the front). Unfortunately, many of the critics of my book's reportage fail to understand that the 6K digital scans of the dupe negative frames are "flat scans," and have not been manipulated to make them more pleasing to the human eye---and that they reveal much more information than, for example, Z film images from a multi-generational bootleg copy of the Z film that suffers from contrast buildup, or than some manipulated video version of the Z film shown on television, or on a DVD.

The best way for interested Americans to resolve this issue for themselves is to ask to see the LIFE magazine large format transparencies, and to compare what they show to the image of frame 317 (from the 35 mm dupe negative) published in volume I of my book. Frames 313, 321 and 323 of the dupe negative also show a large black patch extraordinarily well. Once the LIFE magazine large format transparencies are located, the frames that should be studied most closely are 313, 317, 321, and 323. The "black patch" should appear in each of these first-generation transparencies, if LIFE did not unduly manipulate the contrast when they were created. (Remember, if these transparencies are suddenly produced, to check their provenance: they should exist on film stock made no later than 1963.)

Perhaps Megan Bryant made a mistake when she claimed that the Sixth Floor Museum does not possess these materials. Who knows? I prefer to place my trust, for the time being, in the unbiased Dallas Morning News reporter who wrote his article in January of 2000.

I will never be traveling to Dallas again---it's too upsetting for me to go there, and in any case, I can't afford the trip. But those of you who wish to take on this issue could ask the Sixth Floor Museum, in writing (hint: use the Museum's website), whether it possesses large format transparencies of the Zapruder film made in 1963 or 1964, approximately 4 x 5 inches in size (and unmounted when I saw them in 1997).

If the Museum still claims that it does not possess them, researchers who visit the Museum might ask to review both the Deed of Gift signed between the LMH Company and the Museum on December 30, 1999; and much more importantly, the full inventory or catalog made in 2000 of the items received. That inventory would have been made 11 years ago, before there was any controversy associated with what those images might reveal.

I will sum up this entry by simply repeating the question posed at the beginning of this journal entry: "Where are the large format color positive transparencies of the Zapruder film made by LIFE magazine in 1963 or 1964?" The LMH Company, presumably, had no motivation to hold onto them when it transferred the film's copyright, and all of its film elements, to the Sixth Floor Museum on December 30, 1999. The evidence contained in the Dallas Morning News article---the best evidence I have at this writing---indicates that the Museum DID IN FACT receive these transparencies from the LMH Company. All members of the JFK research community deserve an honest, and accurate answer to this question. END

Edited by Daniel Meyer
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Update from Doug Horne:

Here is the final version of my new journal entry about the LIFE magazine transparencies. I have madeone correction (the article I quoted is no longer available online and I needed to explain why); have done some wordsmithing; and have corrected the one typo I found.

insidethearrb

Where Are the Large Format LIFE Magazine Transparencies of the Zapruder Film?

insidethearrb

April 9th, 13: : In April of 1997 I personally located the large format LIFE magazine transparencies of individual Zapruder film frames---the transparencies that had featured so prominently in Josiah Thompson's 1967 book "Six Seconds in Dallas"---in the office of attorney Jamie Silverberg, who at that time was representing the film's owners, the LMH Company. At the time I was a Senior Analyst on the ARRB staff, and was conducting an official ARRB examination of the LMH company's holdings. On December 30, 1999 the LMH Company transferred both the copyright to the Zapruder film, and reportedly, all of its film holdings, to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. (After obtaining a windfall profit of 16 million dollars, plus interest, from the U.S. government---in just compensation for the taking of the film by the Review Board---the LMH company had decided it was time to get rid of the troublesome political albatross around its neck.) On January 26, 2000 theDallas Morning News published an article about the LMH Company's donation to the Museum, which indicated all of the associated film items had been physically transferred to the museum "nine days ago," and which further stated: "Gary Mack, the Museum's Archivist, was all but whistling Tuesday as he examined what may be the gem of the bunch---oversized transparencies of eachZapruder film frame believed to have been made in 1963 or 1964." It seems reasonable to conclude that this statement by the article's author can only have referred to the same LIFE magazine transparencies which I had discovered in the office of Jamie Silverberg on April 10, 1997. In November of 2010, in response to a question about the whereabouts of the LIFE magazine transparencies made by a visiting researcher, Megan Bryant---the Sixth Floor Museum's Director of Collections and Intellectual Property---said that the Museum did NOT POSSESS the LIFE magazine transparencies. When she was asked a follow-on question by the same person about the January 2000 article in the Dallas Morning News, she stated that the article had been in error. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? I present the details of this mystery below.

DETAILS:

(1) I visited the Washington, D.C. offices of Jamie Silverberg, ESQ., on April 10, 1997 to examine the LMH company's Zapruder film holdings at the request of my boss, Jeremy Gunn (who was General Counsel and head of the research staff for the Assassination Records Review Board). Silverberg was wary of my visit, for he no doubt suspected that the Review Board might engage in a legal taking of any items we found worthy of preservation. (Indeed, the ARRB effectuated a formal "taking" of the so-called "original" Zapruder film---on storage in the National Archives---on April 24, 1997, just 14 days after my visit. To my regret at the time---now my profound regret---the Review Board's taking did not include the LIFE magazine transparencies.) The first time I showed up at his office a few days previous to this---by appointment---I had been rebuffed by one of Silverberg's secretaries; I was told he was too busy and that he would be unable to meet with me, in spite of the fact that I was appearing at a specified time set up by an appointment engineered with him by Jeremy Gunn. Jeremy registered his displeasure over this rebuff, and Silverberg did indeed meet with me the second time I appeared, on April 10, 1997. During the course of this long visit, I made two significant discoveries. First, I discovered that the LMH Company possessed the (at that time) missing first-generation copy of the Z film: the third of three first-generation copies known to exist. Second, I discovered that Silverberg possessed the famous LIFE magazine large format (4" x 5") color positive transparencies, which Josiah Thompson had written about so extensively in his book, "Six Seconds in Dallas." Not only were these transparencies crucial for study of the behavior and reactions of the occupants of the limousine during the assassination, but they were of historical interest because they were clearly the source material used to generate the beautifully clear color picture spreads of the Zapruder film in LIFE magazine in late 1963 (the Memorial Issue), and in 1964 and 1966 editions, as well. Silverberg did not readily produce the large format transparencies; as I now vividly recall, they were not on his typed inventory list, and he produced them as the very last item he removed from his safe, and did so only after repeated and persistent inquiries on my part. I recall thinking that this was odd behavior. On April 11, 1997 I wrote a memo detailing the items I discovered during the inspection the day before in his office. That memo is now on file at theNational Archives, and was also published by Rollie Zavada in the Appendices to his report on the Zapruder film. By this time I was accustomed to looking at 4 x 5 inch transparencies, because the color positive transparencies of the JFK autopsy were also of this size. The transparencies of the Zapruder film that I saw in Silverberg's office were of an identical size. I do not recall whether they were Ektachrome or Kodachrome---I believe I failed to make this determination at the time. But they were definitely 4 x 5 inch color positive transparencies of a very high quality, and they were made from frames of the Zapruder film. I still vividly recall looking at the image content in many of the transparencies---and that image content was consistent with the sketches in Josiah Thompson's book (i.e., I recall frames of the limousine close to the Stemmons Freeway Sign). As I now recall, there were scores of transparencies---too many for me to count, at the end of a long day with an unfriendly attorney. (I now wish I had counted them, and had recorded the type of film used.)

(2) On January 26, 2000 the Dallas Morning News published an article written by Mark Wrolstad, titled: "Zapruders Donate JFK Film, Rights." I have a copy of this article today. I attempted to access the article online today by going to the link: dallasnews.com, but could not do so because the article is over ten years old, and the online archives appear to go back only ten years, to calendar year 2001.

I will therefore now quote verbatim from the passages in this article which are germane to this journal entry:

The author explained that the Zapruder family had donated "...its last original duplicate of the film and the copyright to its coveted images to the Sixth Floor Museum."

Items donated, the article explained, included "...the copy of the 26-second film clip itself---as well as other film, frame-by-frame slides and stills."

The article continued: "Mr. Zapruder ordered three so-called first-generation copies of the film when it was processed the day of the assassination. The two he gave to the Secret Service...now rest at the [National] Archives. The third copy, the only one still privately owned, became the Sixth Floor's property when an agreement was signed December 30, capping four months of discussions."

"Mr. West [sixth Floor Museum Executive Director] and an associate carried the film in an archival box on a flight to Dallas nine days ago, along with other materials."

"Part of the 1,900 item donation may be exhibited later this year, but the material must first be cataloged."

"Gary Mack, the Museum's Archivist, was all but whistling Tuesday as he examined what may be the gem of the bunch---oversized transparencies of each Zapruder film frame believed to have been made in 1963 or 1964."

The reader of this journal entry will note that the article's author states as a FACT that Gary Mack had examined the oversized transparencies made in 1963 or 1964. (Presumably, Mark Wrolstad witnessed this examination himself.) Wrolstad then directly quoted Gary Mack, in direct reference to this examination: "These may be in better condition than the original film is today," he said. "We may have something that is better or sharper. Who knows?"

And with this significant quote, the article ended. The article makes it very clear that in January of 2000, the Sixth Floor Museum possessed the large format Zapruder film transparencies made by LIFE, and that Gary Mack had examined them. I find it difficult to believe, and extremely unlikely, that the author, Mark Wrolstad, made up this story out of whole cloth, or was mistaken about such an important fact.

(3) In November of 2010, over ten years later, in response to a question posed by a Museum visitor, the Sixth Floor Museum's Director of Collections and Intellectual Property, Megan Bryant, claimed that the Sixth Floor Museum did not possess the transparencies, and that the article in the Dallas Morning News had been in error.

Something is terribly wrong here. If you want to know why the question posed by this journal entry is so important to me, keep reading.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The ad hoc Hollywood Research Group (a label given to that ongoing, informal research effort by me alone, not by its participants) that is studying a 35 mm dupe negative of the extant (so-called "original") Z film (obtained from the National Archives) has discovered startling visual anomalies---what I have described in my book as a "black patch" seen in several frames on the back of JFK's head---that strongly imply that the images in the film have been severely (and crudely) altered. [see chapter 14 in Volume IV of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board," pages 1352-1363.] Since the publication of my book, some in the JFK research community have stated that they see no such anomalies in other versions of the Zapruder film, or in other still images of the Zapruder film. The unseemly insinuations of many of these critics and skeptics are that the Hollywood Research Group may have manipulated or altered its own evidence, in an attempt to prove there was a government coverup of the true facts involved in the assassination (namely, that JFK had a large exit wound in the rear of his head caused by a shot from the front). Unfortunately, many of the critics of my book's reportage fail to understand that the 6K digital scans of the dupe negative frames are "flat" or neutral scans, and have not been manipulated to make them more pleasing to the human eye---and that they therefore reveal much more information than, for example, Z film images from a multi-generational bootleg copy of the Z film that suffers from contrast buildup, or than some manipulated video version of the Z film shown on television, or presented on a DVD.

The best way for interested Americans to resolve this issue for themselves is to ask to see the LIFE magazine large format transparencies, and to compare what they show to the image of frame 317 (from the 35 mm dupe negative) published in volume I of my book. Frames 313, 321 and 323 of the dupe negative also show a large black patch extraordinarily well. Once the LIFE magazine large format color positive transparencies are located, the frames that should be studied most closely are 313, 317, 321, and 323. The "black patch" should appear in each of these first-generation transparencies, if LIFE did not unduly manipulate the contrast when they were created. (Remember, if these transparencies are suddenly produced, to check their provenance: they should exist on film stock made no later than 1963.)

Perhaps Megan Bryant made a mistake when she claimed that the Sixth Floor Museum does not possess these materials. Who knows? I prefer to place my trust, for the time being, in the unbiased Dallas Morning News reporter who wrote his article in January of 2000.

I will never be traveling to Dallas again---it's too upsetting for me to go there, and in any case, I can't afford the trip. But those of you who wish to take on this issue could ask the Sixth Floor Museum, in writing (hint: use the Museum's website), whether it possesses large format transparencies of the Zapruder film made in 1963 or 1964, approximately 4 x 5 inches in size (and unmounted when I saw them in 1997).

If the Museum still claims that it does not possess them, researchers who visit the Museum might ask to review both the Deed of Gift signed between the LMH Company and the Museum on December 30, 1999; and much more importantly, the full inventory or catalog made in 2000 of the items received. That inventory would have been made 11 years ago, before there was any controversy associated with what those images might reveal.

I will sum up this entry by simply repeating the question posed at the beginning of this journal entry: "Where are the large format color positive transparencies of the Zapruder film made by LIFE magazine in 1963 or 1964?" The LMH Company, presumably, had no motivation to hold onto them when it transferred the film's copyright, and all of its film elements, to the Sixth Floor Museum on December 30, 1999. The evidence contained in the Dallas Morning News article---the best evidence I have at this writing---indicates that the Museum DID IN FACT receive these transparencies from the LMH Company. All members of the JFK research community deserve an honest, and accurate answer to this question. END

Edited by William Kelly
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Is this it David ??? b

Zapruders donate JFK film, rightsGift may secure future of Sixth Floor Museum

01/26/2000

By Mark Wrolstad / The Dallas Morning News

The Zapruder family, longtime caretaker of the famous home movies of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, has given its last original duplicate of the film and the copyright to its coveted images to the Sixth Floor Museum.

0126film1.jpg

Mona Reeder / DMN

Gary Mack and Megan Bryant (background) examine the Kennedy assassination film and case at The Sixth Floor Museum.

The donation represents a potential windfall in licensing income and prestige for the 11-year-old Dallas museum.

For the museum, whose main attraction is its location including Lee Harvey Oswald's crow's nest, the acquisition of the Zapruder print and related materials solidifies its stature as a destination for researchers, as well as its financial future, officials said.

0126film2.jpg

Mona Reeder / DMN

Jeff West, executive director of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (left) and Gary Mack, an archivist at the museum, look through transparencies of the Zapruder film.

For the survivors of Abraham Zapruder, the Dallas dressmaker who took his 8 mm camera when he walked up a grassy rise in Dealey Plaza and stepped into history on Nov. 22, 1963, the donation ends decades as keepers of America's best-known sequence of amateur movie-making.

And for the copy of the 26-second film clip itself - as well as the other film copies, frame-by-frame slides and stills contained in what the museum has dubbed the "Zapruder Collection" - the gift represents a homecoming, right next to the spot where it was created and where a nation was altered.

"This is a coup," said Jeff West, the museum's executive director, who planned an official announcement Wednesday. "It's truly transformational for us, and it secures our future, not just financially but historically."

Mr. Zapruder's heirs, including son Henry of Washington, D.C., and daughter Myrna Ries of Dallas, announced their intention to transfer the copyright's ownership to a public institution in August, after an arbitration panel ordered the U.S. government to pay the family $16 million, plus interest, for the original film.

The original has been stored at the National Archives since 1975, when Time Inc. returned the film and the copyright to the family. Time Inc. had bought the rights in 1963.

Mr. Zapruder ordered three so-called first-generation copies of the film when it was processed the day of the assassination. The two he gave to the Secret Service also now rest at the archives.

Months of discussion

The third copy, the only one still privately owned, became the Sixth Floor's property when an agreement was signed Dec. 30, capping four months of discussions.

Mr. West and an associate carried the film in an archival box on a flight to Dallas nine days ago, along with other materials.

He said the negotiations began after he heard the copyright needed a new home and he found Henry Zapruder's office number.

"I told him, 'We think we're the guys who should take this on,' " Mr. West said. "It was not a subtle conversation."

A federal board created by Congress to collect and make public all assassination-related films and records took ownership of the original Zapruder film in 1997.

But the government let the heirs retain the copyright, which brings fees for public uses of the film's images in documentaries or publications.

Licensing fees earned about $879,000 for the family from 1976 to 1997, according to estimates made for the arbitration panel.

In a written statement about the museum gift, the heirs again emphasized their efforts to keep the film from being used in ways they considered exploitive.

Exploitation fears

"The guiding principle for the use of the film, established by our father and grandfather at the outset in 1963, was the balance of respect for the sensitive nature of the images with appropriate access by the public," the statement read.

The family said it chose the Sixth Floor because of confidence that its administrators "share our values."

Mr. West pledged that his institution will meet the high standards set by the filmmaker and his heirs.

"His fear was that his film would end up on a T-shirt or a coffee mug, all the exploitive things that we're concerned about," Mr. West said.

An independent appraiser is estimating the value of the gift. Mr. West wouldn't estimate how much the film's licensing might continue to generate.

Jamie Silverberg, the Zapruders' attorney for 12 years, has been hired by the Sixth Floor partly to help with the licensing and indicated the film will continue to be a moneymaker.

"There seems to be an unyielding historical and public interest in the film," he said.

He said the Zapruder heirs considered options other than the Sixth Floor and again demonstrated what he called their "immense sense of civic responsibility."

Critic of decision

Richard Stolley, now a senior editorial adviser for Time Inc., disagreed with the heirs' decision to license a high-tech examination of the Zapruder film in a $15 home video in 1998.

As an editor for Life magazine in 1963, Mr. Stolley bought the original film from Abe Zapruder.

"When I first talked to him, it was his fervent and emotional desire that the film not be exploited in any way," Mr. Stolley said. "I think the Zapruder family has finally done the right thing and honored the man who took the film.

"The museum is where it belongs. In a strange way, for it to wind up in a building about 200 feet from where this garment-maker stood and took the pictures is a kind of historical irony and completeness that doesn't often happen."

Part of the 1,900-item donation may be exhibited later this year, but the material must first be cataloged.

Gary Mack, the museum's archivist, was all but whistling Tuesday as he examined what may be the gem of the bunch - oversized transparencies of each Zapruder frame believed to have been made in 1963 or '64.

"These may be in better condition than the original film is today," he said. "We may have something that is better or sharper. Who knows?"

[ Metro: D-FW | Metro columnists | Dallasnews.com ]

©1999 The Dallas Morning NewsThis site is best viewed using Netscape 4.0 or IE 4.0.

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  • 8 months later...

Whoa......I thought I'd check up on this topic to see if David Mack would have responded....blast. The paper clearly said that Mack examined those color transparencies. I'd love to know what happened to them, especially considering that the 6th Floor Museum is supposed to archive and take special care of such items.

Edited by B. A. Copeland
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