Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives

June 16 – August 11, 2021

Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives

June 16 - August 11, 2021

Smith Gallery

Jacob Riis (1849–1914) was a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. His then-novel idea of using photographs of the city’s slums to illustrate the plight of impoverished residents, many of them recent immigrants, established Riis as forerunner of modern photojournalism. “Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives” features photographs by Riis and his contemporaries, as well as his handwritten journals and personal correspondence.

Sponsored in part by Better Life

This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH on the road logo
Mid-America Arts Alliance logo
Museum of the City of New York

This exhibition is adapted from the exhibition Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half, organized by the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibition was curated by Bonnie Yochelson and co-presented by the Library of Congress. It was made possible with major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Terra Foundation for American Arts, as well as support from D. Euan and Merete Baird, The Malkin Fund, Ronay and Richard L. Menschel, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s Foundation, C. Flemming and Judy Heilmann, Jan and Lotte Leschly, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and the John L. Loeb, Jr. Foundation. It was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Mary C McCarthy
    July 23, 2021 2:33 PM

    Poverty, despair, and unemployment are not new. The ills on the 1890s have not gone away, but are will to see and help were challenged by a grievance president who came from NYC.


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