Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Portraits of poverty

As a sociologist with a passionate belief in social reform as well as a photographer, Lewis Hine was far more interested in documenting the lives of the less fortunate than of the great and the good. His pictures of the working conditions of ordinary Americans in the early twentieth century helped to bring about improvements, while through his portraits of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island he hoped to humanise them and defuse anxieties and prejudice among the American population.

Needless to say, it's a sorry state of affairs that such projects remain just as essential a hundred years on.

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