Climbing into the Promised Land, Ellis Island
Lewis Wickes Hine
Trained as a sociologist, Lewis Wickes Hine began a career in photography in 1905, when, as a teacher, he brought his class to Ellis Island. While encouraging his students to use cameras as part of their studies, Hines himself started to photograph and ultimately became a photojournalist. In this extraordinary image, immigrants in heavy coats and with their paperwork in hand climb a congested staircase in the process of becoming American citizens; Hine managed to juggle a huge, awkward camera while manipulating a crude device loaded with flash powder in order to compose this gripping picture of hope, confusion, and excitement. When he died, in 1940, Hine left behind a legacy of several thousand images of dazzling quality and social import, many of them portraits of workers, often children.
Gelatin silver photograph
image: 13 x 10 1/2 in. (33 x 26.7 cm)
sheet: 13 5/16 x 11 in. (33.8 x 27.9 cm) (show scale)
Stamped in ink on verso with studio stamp: "Lewis Hine interpretive photography, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York"; "Photograph by Lewis Hine from the Walter and Naomi Rosenblum collection"
Signed in pencil on verso: "Hine"
This item is not on view
Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum
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Lewis Wickes Hine (American, 1874-1940). Climbing into the Promised Land, Ellis Island, 1908. Gelatin silver photograph, image: 13 x 10 1/2 in. (33 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum, 84.237.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.237.1_SL1.jpg)
overall, 84.237.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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