Photo of the Week: Lewis Hine & the WPA

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This week marks the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Works Progress Administration, which provided millions of jobs as part of the New Deal. During the eight years it existed, the WPA was the largest employer in the country. People working in the arts were hard-hit by the Great Depression, but many of them found work on WPA projects throughout the country.

One of these was photographer Lewis Hine (1874-1940), who was the WPA's chief photographer for a project showing changes in American industry. Even before the Depression, Hine was known for his photographs documenting child labor, American workers, and war relief efforts in Europe. In addition to the photograph below, the Carter has a collection of Hine's work including child labor photographs that were exhibited in our 2006 exhibition Lewis Hine: Children of Texas.

This is one of Hine's photographs done for the WPA's National Research Project.
Lewis Hine, Rayon Warping, Skinner & Sons, Holyoke, MA., 1937, gelatin silver print
Lewis Hine, Rayon Warping, Skinner & Sons, Holyoke, MA., 1937, gelatin silver print

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