Lewis W. Hine

Italian Family Hunting Lost Baggage, Baggage Room, Ellis Island

1905, printed after 1919
Category: 
While teaching at New York's Ethical Culture School in 1901, Lewis Hine started photographing new immigrants disembarking at Ellis Island. Here, a newly arrived family, ticketed and tagged, stands frozen in the intense light of Hine's magnesium flash. Of his work, critic Elizabeth McCausland wrote, in 1940: "The photographs of Hine give a face to those cipher millions, make them come alive for us today, so that we perceive them not as the 'wretched refuse' of some teeming foreign shore, but as human beings with hopes and aspirations, with dreams to be free and happy, seeking a new life in the promised land of freedom and opportunity, courageously braving the new world."
Title
Italian Family Hunting Lost Baggage, Baggage Room, Ellis Island
Date
1905, printed after 1919
Medium
Photograph
Materials
gelatin silver print
Dimensions
16.9 x 11.9 cm
Nationality
American
Credit line
Purchased 1973
Accession number
22901