Hansel Mieth: Outstretched Hands Center for Creative Photography

Reframing America: 
Photography through the Eyes of Immigrants

Hansel Mieth: Outstretched Hands, 1934
Gelatin silver print
©1998 Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation

Reframing America explores aspects of immigration revealed through photographs taken by immigrant artists. Seven photographers from the Center for Creative Photography collection are featured: Alexander Alland, Robert Frank, John Gutmann, Otto Hagel, Hansel Mieth, Lisette Model, and Marion Palfi.

These photographers came to America during the period between 1920 - 1950. Millions of people left their homelands during that time to seek a better life in America. Often fleeing war, revolution, and persecution, they came in search of freedom, as well as economic and artistic opportunity. The photographers in this exhibition were among these immigrants. Their work speaks of life in America and of their feelings and experiences as immigrants in a new land.

Like the farmers, laborers, teachers, and musicians who came to America as immigrants, these artists had ideas and dreams about what their new country would be like. Partly because they looked at America with fresh eyes, and partly because the America they found did not always correspond to the America they expected, their photographs sometimes addressed issues that continue to haunt this country: poverty, injustice, and intolerance. At the same time, they recorded uniquely American themes such as the mass consumption of consumer goods, jazz, and our nation's love of the automobile. These artists also brought European equipment, ideas, and training with them, which was to have a tremendous influence on American photography. The result was a startling new vision of America. 


Activities for Classes: Using images from the Center's collection, this educator's guide introduces issues about both composition (what the photograph looks like) and content (what the photograph communicates). Interactive questions accompany each image.

Angle, Framing, and Light presents exercises in critical thinking.

Learning to Look is a questioning strategy that encourages meaningful classroom discussions about the works.

The Artists: Background information and image encourage classroom exploration of the social and artistic viewpoints of each immigrant photographer.

Alexander Alland
Robert Frank
John Gutmann
Otto Hagel
Hansel Mieth

Lisette Model
Marion Palfi


http://www.creativephotography.org    This page last updated November 6, 2001.   oncenter@ccp.library.arizona.edu

| Contents | Angle, Framing, and Light  | Learning to Look | Alexander Alland | Robert Frank | John Gutmann | Otto Hagel and Hansel Mieth | Lisette Model | Marion Palfi | Glossary | Acknowledgements | CCP Home |
Center for Creative Photography · The University of Arizona · Tucson, Arizona 85721-0103 · Phone: 520-621-7968