Mulberry Street Police Station by Jacob Riis

This photograph, titled “Mulberry Street Police Station” also known as “Waiting for the Lodging to Open,” was captured by the artist Jacob Riis. Jacob Riis was an influential photographer and journalist working mainly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known for his work documenting urban life and social conditions.

The photograph itself depicts a group of people huddled in a dimly lit, narrow hallway or alleyway. It is a black and white image with a stark contrast between light and shadows, highlighting the textures of the walls and the figures of the people. In the foreground, there is a wooden barrel that appears to be a trash can, and at least three individuals are prominently visible. One person is blurred, suggesting movement, while the others appear to be waiting or in a state of pause, gazing directly towards the camera with expressions that reflect weariness or concern. The environment is gritty and cramped, suggesting an atmosphere of poverty or hardship. Behind the three main figures, additional people can be vaguely seen in the darkness of the background, contributing to a sense of overcrowdedness, which was a common plight in the urban areas photographed by Riis.

Other Photographs from Jacob Riis

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