The J. Paul Getty Museum

Cotton-Mill Worker, North Carolina

Object Details


Cotton-Mill Worker, North Carolina


Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874 - 1940)




North Carolina, United States (Place Created)




Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



Sheet: 11.7 × 16.7 cm (4 5/8 × 6 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

A young girl of no more than twelve or thirteen years of age stands poised between a window and a cotton loom that seems to extend infinitely into the distance behind her. Almost metaphorically, her hair appears to be cropped short on the side that faces the loom, while a long braided ponytail faces the window as if its growth has been nourished by the sunlight. Her own cotton dress is wrinkled and shabby, the soft, faded stripes of her garment contrasting with the tautly pulled threads running through the machine at which she labors.

Lewis Hine's photographs of poor children in deplorable working conditions, made while on assignment from the National Child Labor Committee, were instrumental in the passage of child labor laws in the United States.

Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
In Focus: The Worker (November 3, 2009 to March 21, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 3, 2009 to March 21, 2010
Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




Historical Witness, Social Messaging

Additional works of art related to the themes and topics of the curriculum.

Photography and Choreography

Lesson in which students engage in visual and written activities that support the creative process of choreographing a solo dance composition.

Visual Arts; Dance


Three/Five-Part Lesson