American Art Museum & the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. #2

American Art Museum & the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. continues from my other post on the subject.

This one has to do with photo documentation from the last part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

The transition from a rural society to an industrialised created problems as waves of immigrants came to the United States. Excerpt from a description at the museum:

Theodore Roosevelt, who took office at the turn of the century, used his excutive power to instigate social and economic progress. He was a pioneer of modern government whose legacy transcented his years in office. After the United States’ entrance to the First World War in 1917, the economy prospered, and the country experienced lasting social changes- such as those promted by the nineteeths amendment, which granted women the right to vote

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) The 25th President of the United States 1901-1909

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) The 25th President of the United States 1901-1909. Painted by Adrian Lamb (1901-1988)

Continuous excerpts from information at the museum:

He was among the most learned presidents, a civil service reformer, a hero in the Spanish -American war, He contributed to conserving the nation’s natural heritage and the building of the Panama Canal.

Theodore Roosevelt 1858-1919 born in New York City

Theodore Roosevelt 1858-1919 born in New York City. Roosevelt’s personal energy mirrored his professional drive, riding and hiking was part of his routine. A senator suggested that to gain influence on the president, he should first buy a horse.

Photos from that period

"I Scrubs" Little Katie c.1882 from a dingy New York Alleyway.  Danish photographer Jacob Riis. He exposed the difficult lives in his 1890 book "How the Other Half Lives"

“I Scrubs” Little Katie c.1882 from a dingy New York Alleyway. Danish photographer Jacob Riis (1849-1914). He exposed the stressful lives in his 1890 book “How the Other Half Lives.” I apologise for my blurred picture.

His friend Theodore Roosevelt called Riis “the most useful citizen of New York”.

Child labour, c. 1908, Lewis Hine (1874-1940)

Child labour, c. 1908. Lewis Hine (1874-1940). The artist wanted child labour pictures to be records of the past. On the reverse of the photo, he wrote info about the child.

Three Girls in a Factory 1910 by Lewis Hine (1874-1940)

Three Girls in a Factory 1910 by Lewis Hine (1874-1940) The girls sew tobacco leaves. The artist suggests that the girls should be sewing patterns in a schoolroom rather than toiling in a factory.

 

Young Jewess Arriving at Ellis Island by Frank Manny 1905

Frank Manny, an education reformer, went to Ellis Island to capture images of immigrants arriving in the USA. He wanted his students to have the same regards for Ellis Island than for Plymouth Rock. Photo by Lewis Hine (1874-1940)

Times were tough between the two world wars.

From the description on the painting: A WorkmanAn unemployed steelworker, World War I veteran, Arkansas;exposes the hardship of unemployment during the Great Depression

Excerpt from the description on the painting: An unemployed workman steelworker, World War I veteran from Arkansas; exposes the hardship of unemployment during the Great Depression. Olin Herman Travis (1888-1975)


Old black and white photos always fascinated me, and at the National Portrait Gallery, you can see American history through these photos and paintings about immigrants and American citizens enduring times of hardship.

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