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Lewis Hine’s Photography Art Essay

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Updated: Apr 10th, 2020

Art has always been an integral part of the history of humanity. Serving as the way to express feelings and emotions, it had been developing according to new demands and methods which human beings created to practice in the art.

Photography appeared later than other known classic kinds of art, however, there is no use denying the fact. that it had obtained great importance and ability to impress people not less than some masterpieces of classical art. There are some photos which are known all over the world and which are not less popular than Mona Lisa or the Last Supper. These photos gave fame and popularity to photographs, who can be called real artists. One of such geniuses of photography was Lewis Hime.

Being born at the age of great changes and stresses, Lewis since his childhood was interested in the imprinting of some great moments of the history of American society. He had followed his dream and became one of the most outstanding American photographers of the 20th century.

Very often Lewis Hime is said to be the person who managed to document the age (The Orchard Movies). Due to his photos, people now have an idea about the erecting of the Empire State Building or the problem of child labor, or a huge wave of immigration which was peculiar for America of the 20th century.

In his works, Hime tried to show the moment and imprint the most important aspects of social life. His first works were devoted to the problem of immigration in the USA. He made photos of poor, depressed and lost people, which had nothing to eat and to wear, though hoping for a better future at least for their children.

Being not indifferent to problems of people and children, he devoted almost ten years of his lie making photos of horrible conditions under which people worked at plants. Moreover. the photo of a small girl, working at the factory has become a masterpiece which served as the manifest of the struggle with the child labor.

However, in 1920 the focus of his works changed. He showed not the conditions under which people worked. However, he tried to show the complexity and importance of the work they did. The main aim of these photos was to inspire the rest of the workers, promote the appearance of the spirit of unity and pride for their work. This idea coincided with the main aim of the majority of journals of that time. They tried to develop cooperation between workers and in this way, increase their loyalty to a firm (Seixas 400).

That is why the majority of magazines willingly printed Himes works on their pages (Brown 136). Being popular, Hime influenced the selling of these issues, is the best advertising for them. Magazines which had the work of Lewis Hime on their pages were sold out. Works of Lewis Hime could be seen everywhere and he was one of the most saleable photographs of that age.

In conclusion, it should be said, that being a brilliant photographer, Hime promoted the development of such feelings like pride and appreciation of their work among people. His works were printed in a great number of different journals, which had their own purposes. However, these journals influenced greatly increase in Lewis Himes popularity. The beginning of the 20th century is characterized by the art of Lewis Hime and to a large extent, we now have the image of this age due to his works.

Works Cited

Brown, Elspeth. The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929 (Studies in Industry and Society). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. Print.

Seixas, Peter. “Lewis Hine: From ‘Social’ to Interpretive Photographer”. American Quarterly 39.3 (1987): 381 – 409. Print

The Orchard Movies. “America and Lewis Hine”. Online video clip. YouTube. 2014. Web.

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