Climbing into the Promised Land, Ellis Island
Lewis Wickes Hine
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.
Gelatin silver print
image: 13 x 10 1/2 in. (33 x 26.7 cm)
sheet: 13 5/16 x 11 in. (33.8 x 27.9 cm) (show scale)
Stamped in ink on verso with studio stamp: "Lewis Hine interpretive photography, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York"; "Photograph by Lewis Hine from the Walter and Naomi Rosenblum collection"
Signed in pencil on verso: "Hine"
Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum
This item is not on view
Lewis Wickes Hine (American, 1874-1940). Climbing into the Promised Land, Ellis Island, 1908. Gelatin silver print, image: 13 x 10 1/2 in. (33 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum, 84.237.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.237.1_SL1.jpg)
overall, 84.237.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.