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Ithaca College's Handwerker Gallery to Exhibit Lewis Hine's 1930's Photographs of the Empire State Building

ITHACA, NY — “The Rise of a Landmark: Lewis Hine and the Empire State Building,” an exhibition of silver gelatin prints recording the 1930–31 construction of New York City’s iconic architecture, will open in Ithaca College’s Handwerker Gallery on Thursday, Oct. 27. Organized by the George Eastman House, the exhibition will run through December 16.

Two free events will take place in the gallery on Thursday, Oct. 27:

  • At 3:30 p.m., Jeffrey A. Cohen, senior lecturer and chair of the Growth and Structure of Cities Program at Bryn Mawr College, will speak on “From the Street: Public Conversations with Private Architecture.” Cosponsored by the Ithaca College Department of Art History, the talk will focus on 19th-century American cityscapes.
  • An opening reception for “The Rise of a Landmark” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

From bedrock to the colossus of the Manhattan skyline, photographer Lewis Wickes Hine documented every foot of the construction of the monumental Empire State Building. In 1930, Hine began the treacherous ascent — safety belt in place and camera in hand — with the expectation of creating an ideal portrait of modern architecture. However, his resulting photographs of this year-long project speak more of the integrity of the workers who toiled to perfect the structure than of the glorification of the building itself. Hine’s Empire State photographs build on this theme of the human condition amidst the quickening pace of early 20th-century society.

The Handwerker Gallery hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Weekends, noon to 5 p.m.
Closed to the public on Tuesdays.

To schedule a tour of the exhibition, e-mail Mara Baldwin at For more information, visit

All Handwerker Gallery events are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact Mara Baldwin at (607) 274-7057 as much in advance of the event as possible.