The Photographers

Lewis Hine (1874 – 1940)

Lewis Hine (1874-1940) had two major photography projects in WV: one on child labor and another on life during the Great Depression. A starting point for searching for his photographs that are online is the National Archives. Hines was passionate about drawing attention to the abuse of children as workers. That led him to West Virginia to document children working in coal mines.

Frances Benjamin Johnston

Born in Grafton and grew up in Washington, DC, Johnston contributed most of her photographs and papers to the Library of Congress. 108 images related to the Hampton Institute in Virginia are found in Harvard University’s open collection,  which includes Native American and African American students. Johnston also photographed at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama at the invitation of Booker T. Washington.  These photographs may be searched through the Library of Congress website.

William Harvey Jordan (1886 – 1976) (1886 – 1976)

Born in Kanawha County, West Virginia in 1886. The African American Heritage Family Tree Museum, William H. Jordan Collection ccontains over 1,000 negatives and photographs taken by Jordan, as well as his diaries and other artifacts.

Hugh Mangum (1877 – 1922)

“The photographer who rejected racism in the American south,” by Bob Brown, BBC World Service, 2014. Tells the story of Hugh Mangum, based in North Carolina, who, at the turn of the 20th Century, traveled on railroads across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, setting up temporary studios and taking portraits of the people he met. Individuals and locations are not identified but the images capture an amazing ease with the camera by a wide range of people, including African Americans. This website at Duke University Libraries, Rubenstein Library, Digital Collections, includes a link to the 274 photographs of African Americans. There’s also a finding aid for the collection.

Red Ribble (1878 – 1967)

Red Ribble  took panoramic photographs of coal miners.  These photographs showed the diversity of the work force in the mines. Crabtree has donated prints of Ribble’s photographs to the WVU art collection.