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Lewis Hine - Social Photographer

by: Dominique N.

Lewis Hine - Social Photographer ARHI 3530

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Art History > ARHI 3530 > Lewis Hine Social Photographer
Dominique N.
GPA 3.74

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About this Document

Lewis Hine (1874 - 1940); Social documentarian; Thorough notes about Lewis Hine's photography career from 1905 - approximately 1910. Comparisons to him and Atget made as well.
Art History 3530 - Modern Photography
Janice Simon
Study Guide
sociology, social, documentarian, Atget, notes, Art, history, ArtHistory, 1905, 1910, Early, 1900s, Document, Photography, career, boston, new, York, NewYork, NYC, Georgia, Augusta, Photo
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Dominique N. on Wednesday June 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ARHI 3530 at University of Georgia taught by Janice Simon in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Art History 3530 - Modern Photography in Art History at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 06/29/16
ARHI 3530 – Modernist Photography  Lewis Hine (1874 – 1940) o Social Documentarian  Like Atget, all the details are important. So were back to the crisp, posed, photograph that looks like a document and gives us a lot of information.  Hine has a very specific purpose to the photographs as opposed to Atget’s open-ended interpretation for all o Influx of immigration and not just British, but all different areas of the world and Eastern Europe and had great backlash; photographed people from Ellis Island; series purpose was to reform society and make a difference o Was a sociology teacher in 1901; New York Ethical Cultural School; from Chicago; mentor Frank Manny  Teaches Paul Strand – featured in Camera Work later o Uses backdrop to help tell the story (Atget does the same) o Very against modern photography  Photographic jazz – negative term in this context at the time o “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug a camera.”  Condensed and vital form o Italian Family, Ellis Island 1905  Due to the boy’s dress, you can tell that the kids had to step up Stepping in as the masculine man Suit elevates our conception of the immigrant  Trunks in the background Idea of the baskets of the old country; simple lifestyle The tattered and wornness kind of represents the journey  Mother and child Mother looks very weathered and worn; wearing the old country’s clothes; tradition coming in (the babushka) The kids look very nice Shown as vulnerable, but also dignified Kids are trying to be courageous  In sepia tone o Climbing to America 1908  A lot of people crowded on the narrow staircase; shows the difficulty of what they have to go to  So many different types of people all seeking the summit/great achievement o Young Russian Jewess at Ellis Island 1905  Compared to Day’s African American Woman from Hampton VA  Not as cropped or soft of focus  Sense of apprehension and fear  Vulnerability  Idea of loneliness because there’s no one with her or around her  Traditional Jewish outfit o Young German Steelworker, Pittsburgh PA 1908  “to tell a story packed into the most condensed and vital form”  Charities, Commons and the Surveys  Magazines he worked for  Created leaflets for congress  ¼ of Pittsburgh was immigrants  ironic that the title is that he’s young, but he looks so worn and exhausted, making him look older  dirt all over him and cheeks sunken in  he uses the dark background to contrast the lightness of the dirt on his face  uses background to show pinning of the picture o Little Spinner in Mill, Augusta, Georgia 1909; “Overseer said she was regularly employed”  Wanted to give us a human document that “could provide intelligent interpretation of the world’s workers”  The power of photography to be truth was essential to its power to persuade  Ability of the camera to focus on essential forms and therefore can focus on the essential idea  National Child Labor Committee  Got some change in the 1930s in child labor reformation  By having a caption with his photographs, he could add more meaning to the photograph  “Overseer said she was regularly employed”  it’s all dirty and she is dirty  She’s regularly there and this means that she comes back every day to these horrible conditions. All the dirt from this process is gathering on her, so you can only imagine what’s trapped inside her (specifically her lungs)  The way we have this deep, unending perspective  The way he’s capturing the image, it looks like the machine is moving  She keeps her arms close to her because she knows it’s dangerous  People get maimed  Can see, fully, her environment  The incredible darkness of what she’s wearing on her feet and the floor blend into each other  Looks as if she’s floating  Looks like a marionette because of the wire contraption above her  Looks like she tried to dress up, but outfit was ruined (flaccid hair bow)  Looks like she’s around 8 years old (way too young to work)  Often had to impersonate people to get into the environment to take pictures o Children in New Jersey Glass Factory 1909  Glass is very hot when making it  There’s so much stuff around the environment; things could break and hurt someone  No one is wearing gloves or has on any eye goggles; they are not protected and very exposed  The notion of the fragility and vulnerability  On the floor: is this glass that’s already been broken?  It’s very dark and seems like there is a lack of space  This machine made world that frames these figures and hangs over them in an ominous way o Victim of a Mill Accident 1910  Could be a lumber, steel, textile mill, etc.  Very young and his clothes suggest he has no money  Environment also suggests the same  This young boy who had a viable future is literally tossed as trash because he is useless for those types of work now  The boy is utterly alone with no one around him  Sense of being alone emphasizes his fragility  Sense of vacuity/emptiness in the house  The side that has no arm is emphasized by its juxtaposition to the empty house o Man on Crutches 1910  The sets of stairs and the curb emphasize the difficulty he now faces in his life  The way his leg is placed, guides you to make you think there is a foot there, but then when you get to the bottom, you realize there is nothing there  A trace of something that existed, now [in time], doesn’t exist anymore  Since no one is around, the aloneness is stressed  Looks as if he’s looking for someone  In the background, everything is shut and closed (the doors and windows) o “MAKING HUMAN JUNK” poster 1915  uses his photograph  in the end, kids look mentally damaged  idea that corporations need to take responsibility o Playground in Tenement Alley, Boston 1909  Tenements = sub-housing for multiple families at once  Baseball is now an American pastime and patriotic now  So many people stacked into the alley  Where are the adults?  Kids climbing on all the wheels and standing on the edges of the wagon (dangerous)  Playing on the concrete (very dangerous)  All dressed in their Sunday best  A happy scene, but it’s also fraught with dangers o Italian Immigrant East Side New York City 1910  The road looks so destroyed behind her with trash and debris  Caught in the vast machinery of the city  Barely any sunlight/sky visible  Pole looks as if it’s pinning her down and stuff on her head shows burden on her  Looks as if she’s floating  Opposition of weight versus lightness  Shadow looks like someone is hanging  Plays with sign show a world of choice and plenty versus her world of disarray  Bell telephone symbol on the sign (modern-day AT&T)  Gives lots of space in the front  She’s alone  Her form echoes the Classic Greek sculpture from the Parthenon, British Museum


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