|Product Details |
The New York Times Book Review, Andrea Barnet
Aesthetics were not what Hine's work was about; it was social change that he sought.
The New York Times Book Review, June 18, 2000
His belief in the power of pictures to change public opinion, made Hine indefatigable... Truths were revealed in the details...
At the dawn of the twenty-first century it is hard to imagine a time when this countrys coal miners and mill workers were elementary-school aged boys. But nine decades ago, it was entirely common to find a seven-year-old boy selling a newspaper, digging in the fields, or standing in an assembly line. Photographer Lewis W. Hines images of these child workers serve as disturbing evidence of Americas dark side, a time before common beliefs about poverty had shifted. Hines photographs inspired the Progressive reform movement and the professionalization of social work. With his camera, Hine (1874-1940) helped make possible the everlasting efforts of the National Child Labor Committee. Lewis Hine: Children at Work explores the world of juvenile workers in mills, mines, canneries, fields, and city streets throughout America with shocking candor and insight. Featuring large, high-quality black-and-white photographs, Children at Work is at once impressive and shocking, beautiful yet utterly heartbreaking. These are images that no adult American will soon forget. The text, by the New York Times photographic critic Vicki Goldberg, chronicles the aims of the NCLC as well as Hines own personal history. A former factory worker and teacher, Hines passion for photography developed out of his need to document the social conditions of his time. He traveled throughout the United States with his camera, hoping to spur anti-child labor lobbyists into action and bring about legislation to curb child labor. Hine was one of this countrys earliest documentaries. His photographs had a dramatic, dual effect: they would inspire legendary social change and, at the same time, imply dignity to laborers of all kinds in various difficult and menial occupations.