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Italian Family Seeking Lost Baggage, Ellis Island

A work made of gelatin silver print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Lewis Wickes Hine
American, 1874–1940

About this artwork

Beginning in 1905, Lewis Hine began trekking to Ellis Island to photograph immigrants entering America through the New York port. His purpose was to show newcomers to the United States as dignified individuals rather than anonymous masses of foreigners, as the press frequently portrayed them. Hine went on to develop a form of documentary photography that advanced social reform and at times even resulted in changes to the law, as seen most famously in his images of child labor. In this photograph of an Italian family, Hine likened the mother to a Madonna figure, employing Renaissance art to evoke the sympathy of his viewers.


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Photography and Media


Lewis Wickes Hine


Italian Family Seeking Lost Baggage, Ellis Island


United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1905


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, upper center, in graphite: "6 [encircled]"


Image: 17.4 × 12.5 cm (6 7/8 × 4 15/16 in.); Paper: 19.6 × 17 cm (7 3/4 × 6 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of David Vestal

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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