Exhibit exposes poverty in 1880s New York City life

(September 19, 2018)

NE history department and the J. Ardis Bell Library are hosting a National Endowment for the Humanities On the Road exhibit featuring works by artist Jacob Riis until Oct. 31.

Riis was a pioneering Danish-American social reformer and photojournalist who created the book How the Other Half Lives by compiling his photography, which documented poor living conditions in the 1880s New York City slums.

NE history associate professor Chloe Northrop tried to find an exhibit to bring to the campus last year and said she decided on Riis’ because it was a fresh look into how other people lived in another time.

“By publishing these pictures and doing interviews with the people, he’s going to help illuminate a side of society that most people didn’t see,” she said. “And what I was hoping my students were able to do is to go into the exhibit and also question ourselves — are we doing the same thing in this day and age?”

NE library services assistant director April Martinez said the exhibit triggers those necessary conversations about poverty.

The Collegian