Published: January 29, 2002
BENNINGTON, VT. – The Bennington Museum has started the New Year off with a show that should enlighten on many different levels. “: Child Labor Through the Lens of Lewis Hine” will be on view through May 15 in the Flag Gallery. The exhibition consists of 56 photographs taken by the renowned photographer Lewis Hine in the opening years of the Twentieth Century.
Hine traveled all over the United States documenting the plight of child workers for the National Child Labor Committee. The photographs in this exhibition were all taken in northern New England with the majority from Vermont. Most of the Vermont photographs were taken in Bennington and Pownal with others from around the state. Also included in the exhibition are objects, books, pamphlets and reproductions that have to do with photography and child labor.
Interestingly, the first director of the Bennington Museum, John Spargo, was a member of the National Child Labor Committee and a friend of Hine. One of the photographs of Bennington includes Spargo’s son. As a young man Spargo wrote pamphlets for the National Child Labor Committee and a full book entitled, The Bitter Cry of the Children.
On March 23 at 2 pm, Robert Maciewski, associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, will speak about the exhibit in the Ada Paresky Education Center at the museum.
On April 24, “Dearly Earned,” an original play based on letters, diaries and newspaper articles which brings to life the realities of working in a Nineteenth Century mill town, will be presented by the New Hampshire-based theatre company, Pontine. The performance will take place at 6:30 pm in the Ada Paresky Education Center; seating is limited and tickets will be available in advance at the museum.
The Museum’s education department is offering special tours for school groups based on the exhibition. Designed for grades 5 to 8 and 9 to 12, the tours include interactive activities, image study and interpretation and plenty of opportunity for discussion. For information, contact the director of education, at 802-447-1571.
“: Child Labor Through the Lens of Lewis Hine” is an exhibition organized by the New Hampshire Historical Society originally presented at the Museum of New Hampshire History in Concord, N.H.
The Bennington Museum is on West Main Street (Route 9) one mile west of the intersection of Routes 7 and 9. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. For information, 802-447-1571.
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