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Power House Mechanic

Lewis Wickes Hine


The clean muscularity and precise industrial order presented by Lewis Hine in Power House Mechanic demonstrates the photographer’s shift, in 1919, from a gritty documentary style to what he called “interpretive photography”—an approach intended to raise the stature of industrial workers, who were increasingly diminished by the massive machinery they operated. Despite his concern for the worker, Hine’s use of hand-selected and precisely posed models actually helped to cement the pictorial formulas employed by burgeoning corporate public-relations departments.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1920-1921
DIMENSIONS image: 13 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (34.3 x 24.1 cm) sheet: 13 3/4 x 9 3/4 in. (34.9 x 24.8 cm) frame: 23 1/8 x 17 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (58.7 x 43.5 x 4.4 cm)
MARKINGS 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"
SIGNATURE In graphite on verso: "Hine"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum
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