Exhibition Displaying Works of Iconic Photographer Enters Final Days at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Famous Photographs of Lewis Wickes Hine on Display through May 5, 2019

Winchester, VA 04/10/19 . . . An exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed photographer Lewis Wickes Hine (1874–1940)—who is widely recognized as the father of American documentary photography—is on view in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) through May 5, 2019.

Our Strength is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine presents more than 60 vintage gelatin silver prints. Hine’s riveting images are particularly known for documenting the immigrant experience, the American worker, and child labor. To show the latter, Hine secreted his camera into coal mines, textile mills, and canneries, and the resulting images led to child labor laws in the United States. To photograph the immigrant experience—a topic as divisive then as today—Hine traveled to Ellis Island, steel plants, railroads, and coal mines to capture images depicting immigrants’ dignity and strength.

This survey of Hine’s work includes some of his most famous works, such as Powerhouse Mechanic, a picture from about 1920–21 in which a mechanic seems to meld into the machine on which he is working. The exhibition also displays Hine’s most famous image of child labor, the 1908 picture of Sadie Pfeiffer, a nine-year-old girl working at a South Carolina cotton mill. The earliest works in the exhibition present Ellis Island immigrants in 1905, and the latest images document construction of the Empire State Building in 1930. The exhibition also presents a celebrated image of a child that was part of Hine’s documentary work in Europe for the American Red Cross and a rare 1914 photograph in which 19-year-old baseball great Babe Ruth can be spotted.

Our Strength is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine provides a rare opportunity to see the original vintage Hine works that are in the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. The exhibition, which opened at the MSV on February 9, 2019, is organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions, and its MSV display is funded in part by The Winchester Star and sponsored by Shenandoah Country Q102.

A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes galleries displaying permanent collections and rotating exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House, seven acres of gardens, and is the future home of The Trails at the MSV, a 90-acre art park with three miles of trails. The MSV is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission is free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV members, and, thanks to generous sponsorship from Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., it is free to all every Wednesday. Additional details and information about programs taking place in conjunction with the Hine exhibition are available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–