Gelatin silver print
Image: 16 9/16 x 12 1/4 in.
Sheet: 16 7/8 x 12 5/8 in.
u.l. to u.r.: [crop marks]
u.c. in graphite: 2
u. in graphite: 2 \ 42 \ 1200-
l.r. in graphite: T8450-11-2
l.r. [upsidedown rubber stamp]: LEWIS W. HINE \ Work Portraits \ HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N. Y.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Originally a sociologist and teacher, Hine started using a camera as a tool for activism and in the process became one of the great photographers of the twentieth century. Never feigning objectivity, he once said: “There are two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated.”
Steamfitter is from a series that attempted the latter, celebrating modern laborers like construction workers, railroad builders, and, as here, power plant workers. Hine believed that the worker was not diminished by the scale and power of the machinery around him, since it was all invented, built, and operated by humans.
American Photographs, 1845 to NowAugust 20, 2016–February 12, 2017
American Photographs brings together more than 70 photographs that span the history of the medium and reflect the diversity of photographic practices during America’s industrial development, highlighting the central role of photography in the United States.