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Press Release

October 11, 2016

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

Lewis Hine Photography Exhibit Open at the Oklahoma History Center

OKLAHOMA CITY — On October 1, the Oklahoma History Center opened a new photography exhibit called “Child Labor in Oklahoma: Photographs by Lewis Hine, 1916–1917,” sponsored by Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Curated by Theresa Bragg, Jim Meeks and Lori Oden, this exhibit highlights a collection of 25 powerful photographs taken by Lewis Hine while he was in Oklahoma 100 years ago.    

Lewis Hine was able to capture the soul of the child laborer in North America in the early 1900s. He mainly focused on major cities, but took brief trips to other parts of the country to document child labor, including Oklahoma. Hine photographed in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Shawnee, Okmulgee, Sulphur and a few other small communities in the state.       

Although his photographs moved the nation to create child labor laws, Hine died in poverty and unrecognized in 1940. Decades later his life’s work would become synonymous with social reform documentary photography. Lewis Hine once said, “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug a camera.”  

A Curator’s Talk is planned for Thursday, November 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Participants will learn more about Lewis Hine, the art and history of documentary photography, and see parts of a film made about Hine. This event is free and open to the public. 

The exhibit is on display in the Chesapeake Events Center, which is utilized for meetings and events. Visitors should call in advance to make sure the exhibit is open to the public. An exhibit catalog also is available for free while supplies last. After the exhibit closes in April 2017 it will become a traveling exhibit. 

The Oklahoma History Center, located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City, is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


Editor’s Note: Photographs to accompany the story can be acquired by contacting Steve Hawkins at 405-522-0754 or shawkins@okhistory.org.

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