Photography: Lewis Hine

Powerful Essays
For some, a picture is just a beautiful work of art, but for Lewis Hine photography was a way to communicate a message to the world. When Hine was taught the photographic process, it was still being established. This being said, photojournalism was also just evolving as a method to visually communicate information. In an effort to better his photography skills, Hine began to photograph the immigrants of Ellis Island. He was very adamant about social reform and reflected this in his work. Lewis Hine’s captivating photos inspired social change in America for the less fortunate.
Hine’s father passed away when he was still a child, forcing him to mature early and quickly learn the importance of hard work. Lewis Hine grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He worked many jobs as a young man, some of which include a door-to-door salesman, a clerk, and a janitor. While working, he also took classes at the University of Wisconsin where he met Frank Manny. Manny, a professor at the Normal School, encouraged Hine to obtain a teaching certificate. Manny soon became director of New Yorks Ethical Culture School where he then hired Hine to be the geography and natural studies teacher. Being director of New Yorks Ethical Culture School Manny wanted a way to document school activities. Therefore Manny selected Hine to learn photography and teach a class, “A life in photography had begun.” In an effort to better understand the medium and inspire his students Hine went to Ellis Island to photograph immigrants coming to America. He also hoped that his photos would cause his students to “have the same regard for contemporary immigrants as they have for the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock.” H...

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...s saved by the Photo League and is now archived at the George Eastman House. His collection of work consists of 7,000 prints and over 4,000 negatives, as well as 117 pamphlets, catalogues, periodicals, reviews and articles. With time and our desire to preserve the past, his work has become an important part in the documenting of American history. Social reform is often necessary and thanks to the works of Lewis Hine children today can enjoy being a child.

Works Cited

Fuentes Santos, Mónica, Luis Miguel García Mora, Lewis Hine: From the collections of George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film: Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2013

Marien, Mary Warner. Photography A Cultural History. Upper Saddle River, NC: Prentice Hall, 2002.

Rosenblum, Naomi. A World History of Photography. New York, NY : Abbeville Publishing Group, 2007.
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