Sunday, September 26, 2010

In Memoriam: Lewis Hine

From the moment of its very invention the artistic and documentary application of the camera was obvious; it was Lewis Hine, however, who was one of the first people to exploit photography for its sociological and progressive uses, and as such his compassion is as evident as any object or subject in the images he captured. Although he set out to use a camera merely in his work as a sociologist, the photography of Lewis Hine is today recognized for the fine art it is.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHine spent a decade as a photojournalist on the payroll of the National Child Labor Committee, documenting the abuses inherent in child labour throughout the United States, initially publishing his findings in a social reform magazine called The Survey. Later he followed the Red Cross in America and Europe, documenting the relief work they were conducting.

His works were also instrumental in putting faces to America's industrial might; his photos of the construction of the Empire State Building are a remarkable record of a remarkable achievement in civil engineering. The images he captured throughout the American South during the Great Depression helped to personalize the serf-like plight of farm workers and migrants alike to the northern plutocrats who'd enslaved them.

Born on this day in 1874, Hine died in November 1940 aged 66 from complications following surgery at Dobb's Ferry, New York.
share on: facebook

No comments: