The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Self-Portrait with Newsboy]

Object Details


[Self-Portrait with Newsboy]


Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874 - 1940)




Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (Place Created)




Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



13.8 × 11.8 cm (5 7/16 × 4 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

The newsboy's wary expression suggests someone unused to being regarded as worthy subject matter for a photographer's lens. The size of the newspapers, measuring from his underarm to below his knee, gives a graphic indication of the physical inequality between this worker and the requirements of his labor. The shadows of the photographer, his camera, and the lampposts visually isolate the figure of the boy. This framing and the inclusion of a self-portrait suggest Hine's empathetic nature toward his subject matter. Of his emphasis on the human condition in his images, Hine wrote: " [misconception] is that our material assets 'just happen' as the product of a bunch of impersonal machines... the human spirit is the big thing, after all...." Lewis Hine's photographs of children in deplorable working conditions were instrumental in the passage of child labor laws in the United States.

Self-Portrait (November 7, 1985 to January 7, 1986)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (New York), November 7, 1985 to January 7, 1986
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
Street & Studio (May 23, 2008 to January 11, 2009)
  • Tate Modern (London), May 23 to August 31, 2008
  • Museum Folkwang (Essen), October 10, 2008 to January 11, 2009
Images of the Artist (November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012
Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




The Elements of Photography

In this lesson students learn about and discuss the process of taking a photograph.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson