Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Photography Of Lewis Hine



Lewis Hine worked for the American Red Cross twice - during and after World War I, documenting relief efforts in Europe, and during the Great Depression in the United States. He also documented life in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and was the chief photographer for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's WPA National Research Project duing the Depression.

In 1930 he was hired to photograph the ongoing construction of the Empire State Building in New York City. He put himself in precarious positions to capture the efforts of the men erecting the steel and iron framework of the great building. He used a custom made basket to swing out and away from the building, 1,000 feet above Fifth Avenue, the better to document such an incredible project.

5,000 of his photographs are in our Library of Congress, 5,000 more at the University of Maryland, and 10,000 are part of the vast collection of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York, which has what is considered one of the finest collections in the world.

The photograph above was made by Lewis Hine in 1920. He called it "Powerhouse Mechanic Working On Steam Pump".

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