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A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Ray Martin
American, 1930-2011

About this artwork

While a student at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Ray Martin produced a series of photographs of local storefront churches. These religious spaces, deeply connected to and reflective of the diversity and unique character of their communities, proliferated in Chicago during and in the years following the Great Migration of 1915–70, when millions of African Americans fled the rural south. Many such churches occupied former commercial spaces in impoverished neighborhoods and were typically short-lived; some were able to relocate to permanent homes, but more often they fell prey to the surrounding economic conditions. Storefront churches remain ubiquitous in Chicago, where they are still seen as pillars of their communities.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Raymond L. Martin




United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1949–1953


Gelatin silver print


Image/paper: 23.3 × 19.2 cm (9 3/16 × 7 9/16 in.); Mount: 35.5 × 28 cm (14 × 11 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Edward Byron Smith and John Bross funds in honor of Suzette Bross

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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