Lewis Hine (1874-1940) was an American photographer who tried to draw attention to social issues such as migration or child labor. He took two series of photos on Ellis Island, an island near New York City that was the first stop and gateway for new arrivals. Photos of Lewis Hine are trying to show the identity of migrants, who were often exoticized and othered in the American press. The Jewish woman in the photo is dressed in clothes that do not distinguish her from other migrants from Eastern Europe. However, although Jewish migration was often also motivated by economic motives, in the public discourse and historiography of the early twentieth century, it was perceived as a consequence of pogroms. In the photo, the author tries to show America as a kind of promised land that Jews consider as their refuge, which is shown in the composition of the photo and in the emotions of the migrant.
“Jewish Grandmother”, photo by Lewis Hine
- See more:
- The New York Public Library Digital Collection
- Research, comment
- Translation into English
The New York Public Library Digital Collection