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Re: Re: [teacherartexchange] Artists who were/are heroes?


From: Harold Olejarz (holejarz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 27 2006 - 08:05:16 PDT


Add photographer Lewis Hine to the list. See the web page listed
below. Also, Ansel Adams for his work with on the environment.
Lewis Wickes Hine was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on 26th September,
1874. He studied sociology in Chicago and New York (1900-07) before
finding work at the Ethical Culture School. Hine, who had purchased
his first camera in 1903, employed his photographs in his teaching and
established what became known as documentary photography.

Hine also used his camera to capture the poverty he witnessed in New
York. This included a photographic study of Ellis Island immigrants.
In 1908 Hine published Charities and the Commons, a collection of
photographs of tenements and sweatshops. Hine hoped he could use these
photographs to help bring about social reform. He told one meeting
that he believed his photographs would encourage people to "exert the
force to right wrongs".

As a school teacher, Hine was especially critical of the country's
child labour laws. Although some states had enacted legislation
designed to protect young workers, there were no national laws dealing
with this problem. In 1908 the National Child Labour Committee
employed Hine as their staff investigator and photographer. This
resulted in two books on the subject, Child Labour in the Carolinas
(1909) and Day Laborers Before Their Time (1909).

Hine travelled the country taking pictures of children working in
factories. In one 12 month period he covered over 12,000 miles. Unlike
the photographers who worked for Thomas Barnardo, Hine made no attempt
to exaggerate the poverty of these young people. Hine's critics
claimed that his pictures were not "shocking enough". However, Hine
argued that people were more likely to join the campaign against child
labour if they felt the photographs accurately captured the reality of
the situation.

Factory owners often refused Hine permission to take photographs and
accused him of muckraking. To gain access Hine sometimes hid his
camera and posed as a fire inspector. Hine worked for the National
Child Labour Committee for eight years. Hine told one audience:
"Perhaps you are weary of child labour pictures. Well, so are the rest
of us, but we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and
tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child
labour pictures will be records of the past."

In 1916 Congress eventually agreed to pass legislation to protect
children. As a result of the Keating-Owen Act, restrictions were
placed on the employment of children aged under 14 in factories and
shops. Owen Lovejoy, Chairman of the National Child Labour Committee,
wrote that: "the work Hine did for this reform was more responsible
than all other efforts in bringing the need to public attention."--

Harold Olejarz
Blog -
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