April 14–September 5, 2016

Today Jacob Riis is regarded as one of photography’s great innovators. Riis was well aware of the power of photographs but did not consider himself a photographer. This exhibition repositions Riis as a multi-skilled communicator who devoted his life to writing articles and books and delivering lectures nationwide to spur social reform. It examines Riis as a writer, photographer, lecturer, advocate, and ally and provide visitors with an opportunity to understand the indelible mark Riis’s brand of social reform left on the United States at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century.

Jacob Riis: Revealing “How the Other Half Lives” is a co-presentation of the Library of Congress and the Museum of the City of New York.

This exhibition unites, for the first time, the Jacob A. Riis Papers from the Library of Congress and the Museum of the City of New York’s Jacob A. Riis Collection of Riis’s photographs. The presentation of the exhibition at the Library of Congress was made possible by generous support from the Library of Congress Third Century Fund; Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s Foundation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Danish Ministry of Culture, and Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces; The Royal Danish Embassy; and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Photos courtesy of Shveima Associates