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Lewis Hine, Steamfitter, 1920. Gelatin silver print. 6 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (16.8 x 11.7 cm). Image courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC.

Both Steamfitter and Max Is Rushing in the Bagels to a Restaurant on Second Avenue for the Morning Trade depict a man at work.

  • Describe the way each photographer portrays his worker subject.

  • What might each artist be trying to communicate about his attitude or feelings toward the respective worker? Which details and compositional choices help communicate the photographer’s attitude or feelings?


Butterfly Boy, New York

Jerome Liebling (American, 1924-2011)

Butterfly Boy, New York, 1949

  • Gelatin silver print
  • 10 5/8 x 10 in. (27 x 25.4 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Mimi and Barry J. Alperin Fund, 2008-90
  • Digital image © 2008 The Jewish Museum, New York Photo by Ardon Bar Hama

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Butterfly Boy, New York

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Liebling’s and Weegee’s images can both be considered urban portraits.

  • What can we learn or infer about each subject’s identity and personality from his portrait?

  • If a photographer were to make a portrait of you in an urban environment, where would you want it to be? What would you like to be shown doing? What emotion of yours would you want it to capture?