Climbing into the Promised Land, Ellis Island
Trained as a sociologist, Lewis Wickes Hine began a career in photography in 1905, when, as a teacher, he brought his class to Ellis Island. While encouraging his students to use cameras as part of their studies, Hines himself started to photograph and ultimately became a photojournalist. In this extraordinary image, immigrants in heavy coats and with their paperwork in hand climb a congested staircase in the process of becoming American citizens; Hine managed to juggle a huge, awkward camera while manipulating a crude device loaded with flash powder in order to compose this gripping picture of hope, confusion, and excitement. When he died, in 1940, Hine left behind a legacy of several thousand images of dazzling quality and social import, many of them portraits of workers, often children.
- Artist: Lewis Wickes Hine, American, 1874-1940
- Medium: Gelatin silver photograph
- Dates: 1908
- Dimensions: 14 x 10 1/2 in. (35.6 x 26.7 cm) (show scale)
- Markings: Ink stamp on verso: "Lewis Hine interpretive photography, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York"
- Signature: Signed on verso in pencil: "Hine"
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 84.237.1
- Credit Line: Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Lewis Wickes Hine (American, 1874-1940). Climbing into the Promised Land, Ellis Island, 1908. Gelatin silver photograph, 14 x 10 1/2 in. (35.6 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum, 84.237.1
- Record Completeness: Best (84%)