Campus News

View Year

Juniata Art Museum Displays Photos By Lewis Hine

(Posted September 23, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Stunning images of children working as farmhands, coal miners and factory workers are the focus of the photography exhibition "Let Children Be Children: Lewis Wickes Hine's Crusade Against Child Labor," at the Juniata College Museum of Art starting Sept. 27 and continuing through Nov. 9.

A reception for the exhibition will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the museum. The reception is free and open to the public.

The traveling exhibition, which was organized by George Eastman House, the Rochester, N.Y. museum of photography, features early work by celebrated photographer Lewis Hine, whose archive of more than 10,000 original prints, negatives and artifacts is owned by the museum.

The exhibition features 55 black-and-white images of children working, often in appalling conditions. Hines was commissioned by the National Child Labor Committee in 1906 to document the harsh working conditions faced by children who were used as laborers in various industries. He spent the next 10 years photographing children working in canneries, coal mines, cotton mills, farms and sweatshops.

Originally trained as a sociologist, Hine started his photography career by taking photographs of arriving immigrants at Ellis Island. Hine, who died in 1940, is justly famous for his photographs of men and women working in various professions, a natural outgrowth of his work for the child labor committee. Perhaps his best-known work is a series of images documenting the steelworkers who built the Empire State Building in New York City.

Hine's stark photographs document the legacy of child labor in America with an unblinking frankness. His photographs were used as evidence by the labor committee to lobby for the Federal Child Labor regulation. The regulation was eventually signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938.

The Juniata College Museum of Art is located in historic Carnegie Hall at 17th and Moore streets in Huntingdon. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please call the museum at (814) 641-3505, or visit the Juniata College Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/museum.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.