Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Icarus, Empire State Building

Artist:
Lewis Hine (American, 1874–1940)
Date:
1930
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
18.7 x 23.7 cm (7 3/8 x 9 5/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.119
Not on view
Of the many photographs Hine took of the Empire State Building, this one became the popular favorite. Suspended in graceful sangfroid, the steelworker symbolizes daring technical innovation of the sort Daedalus embodied in Greek legend. While Daedulus flew the middle course between sea and sky safely, his son Icarus flew too close to the sun and perished. The optimism of this image suggests that it was not Icarus's folly but his youth and his ability to fly that prompted Hine's title.
Inscription: Inscribed in ink on original mount, now attached to new mount, recto LC, below print: "Lewis W. Hine, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. // Icarus: High Up on Empire State // Building, 1931"; photographer's stamp in ink on print, verso CR [sideways]: "LEWIS W. HINE // INTERPRETIVE PHOTOGRAPHY // HASTINGS-ON HUDSON, NEW YORK";
[Edwynn Houk]; John C. Waddell

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Thomas Hart Benton’s 'America Today' Mural Rediscovered," September 30, 2014–April 19, 2015.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 6, p. 105.



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