His images still shock, and they still demand our attention. Through his pioneering photojournalism at the turn of the 20th century, Jacob A. Riis illuminated the squalid living conditions of New York City's poor, from the cellars of Ludlow Street to the barracks of Mott Street.
Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York's Other Half, an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, serves as a precursor to the ongoing Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy, with Riis as one of the city's early champions of housing reform. His photos, articles, and illustrated lectures of the slums prompted fellow reformer Theodore Roosevelt to call Riis "New York's most useful citizen." The photos also provide a unique lens for viewing New York's persistent struggles with inequality.
This is the first major retrospective of Riis's photographic work in the United States in more than six decades, and it's the first time his photographs, which belong to the City Museum, have been reunited with his archive, which belongs to the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.
Come see the collected work of Jacob A. Riis, together.