A Young Oyster Fisher, Apalachicola, Florida (Primary Title)
Hine traveled along the Gulf Coast in 1909 to document the region’s oyster fisheries, operations that relied heavily on child labor. He noted that many of the young workers migrated to the coast during oyster season to spend days at a time aboard boats. Hine’s documentary discipline, which frequently revealed his subjects’ poor working conditions, did not deny his artistic sensibility, which informed his compositions. A Young Oyster Fisher exhibits Hine’s frequent use of strong oblique forms. As in his factory scenes that often feature slanted, receding rows of machinery, the boat and the boy’s oyster rake form diagonals that serve to frame the central subject.
Inscribed in ink by unknown hand on verso: "A young oyster fisher / just returned from a cruise / Apalachicola, Fla.". Inscribed in graphite by unknown hand(s) on verso: "75-29-19L", "1909", "HINE", "574" and "574."
Virginia Museum Art Purchase Fund
The Likeness of Labor, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, October 17, 2015 - April 10, 2016
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
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