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 name of the photo “Slavic Mother” shows that Eastern Europe for Americans was still a space, which differences and nuances they hardly noticed. Hine perceives the woman in the photo as a person who left Europe forever, taking along all her posessions, and having no plans to return. The check-in window in front of which she stands illustrates how the new migrants faced the unfamiliar and complex bureaucratic procedures.
“Slavic Mother”, photo by Lewis Hine
- See more:
- The New York Public Library Digital Collection
- Research, comment
- Translation into English
New York Public Library Digital Collection