Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography

Stephen Wilkes: The Ellis Island Collection
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In the southern shadows of Ellis Island's Great Hall, forgotten by history and ill-equipped in its battle with nature, I came upon the ruins of a vast hospital: the contagious-disease wards and isolation rooms for the people whose spirits carried them across oceans but whose bodies failed them, just inches from Paradise. What I was obsessed to do, almost as if I was chosen to do it, was document the light and the energy and living spirit of this place. I added no light of my own, nor any artifice of the photographic craft. I wasn't simply interested in graphics born from the patina of ruin. I just wanted to record the place as I found it."

~Stephen Wilkes

Book available: Ghosts of Freedom: Ellis Island" by Stephen Wilkes

Corridor 9, Island 3

Linen Room, Door Study, Island 3

Hospital extension, women's ward, Island 2

Psychiatric hospital, wall study with light switch, Island 2

Isolation ward, curved corridor, Island 3

Tuberculosis Ward, Statue of Liberty, Island 3

Patient Ward with light on table, Island 3

Nurses' quarters, Island 3

Administration Office, single shoe, Island 3

The autoclave, Island 3

Main Hospital, blue room with bed frame, Island 2

Snow-covered corridor, Island 3

Powerhouse, Boiler, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, broom study, Island 2

Measles ward, oak file cabinets, Island 3

Measles ward, sink with snow scene through window, Island 3

Corridor 9, window study, sunset, Island 3

Corridor 9, doorway, Island 3

Isolation ward, Eveready batteries, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, sunken bed, Island 2

Morgue, prep room, Island 3

White tile study, O.R., Island 2

Courtyard, fall study, Island 3

Measles ward through window, Island 3

Nurses' quarters, billowing shade at sunset, Island 3

Administration building, hallway, Island 3

Hospital extension, faucet study (floor), Island 2

Isolation ward, fall courtyard through window, Island 3

Administration building, snow-covered entrance, Island 3

Measles ward, lone chair and window, Island 3

Administration building, dresser and mirror, Island 3

Isolation ward, suitcase, Island 3

Isolation ward, wall study with pipes, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, brig, Island 2

Linen room, Island 3

Isolation ward, Statue of Liberty, Island 3

Administration building, room with vines, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, brig sink study, Island 2

Nurses' quarters, twin sink study, Island 3

Psychiatric ward, hallway, Island 3

Nurses' quarters, lawn chair, Island 3

Measles ward, puddle of snow, Island 3

Measles ward, huddled chairs, Island 3

Ferry building, roof study with eagles, Island 2

Measles ward, shattered door study, Island 3

Hospital extension, operating room, pigeon study, Island 2

Immigrant Hospital complex, main kitchen, Island 3

Administration building, dark hallway, Island 3

Hospital extension, bar stool, Island 2

Measles ward, red sunset, Island 3

Measles ward, lone chair, Island 3

Powerhouse, door study, Island 3

Arial Ellis Island

Psychiatric Hospital, green room, Island 2

Administrative quarters, staff house, Island 3

Measles ward, two chairs, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, detention cage, Island 2

Paint room, Island 3

Measles ward, hallway study with plant life, Island 3

Outer building, toilet basin study, Island 2

Measles ward, brick study, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, green hallway, Island 2

Psychiatric Hospital, blue room, Island 2

Morgue, detail refrigeration unit, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital

Morgue, prep room, Island 3

Hospital extension, O.R. room, Island 2

Morgue, Island 3

Administration building, shattered bathroom study, Island 3

Isolation ward, white tiles and dripping ceiling, Island 3

Isolation ward, recreation room, window study, Island 3

Hospital extension, faucet study (wall), Island 2

Isolation ward, ceiling fixture detail, Island 3

Isolation ward with white chair, Island 3

Hudson River, water study

Ceiling light fixture, detail, Island 3

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