Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography


Stephen Wilkes
Ellis Island
Ghosts of our Ancestors
October 5 – November 23, 2018



Isolation ward, Statue of Liberty, Island 3

A timely exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of Stephen Wilkes documentary project. Twelve million people passed through Ellis Island from 1892 until its closing in 1954, and tens of millions of Americans today are descendants of immigrants who were thought deplorable by those already here. With the the future of immigration and refuge in America in contention, Wilkes takes us on an unforgettable journey through our collective past that reminds us how we became the diverse nation that we are today and asks us to reflect on our own humanity. Wilkes's powerful images of the underbelly of the island—a purgatory between freedom and captivity—ask us to reflect on the defining experiences of millions.


Corridor 9, Island 3

Tuberculosis Ward, Statue of Liberty, Island 3

Isolation ward, suitcase, Island 3


Isolation ward, curved corridor, Island 3

Measles ward, hallway study with plant life, Island 3

Corridor 9, doorway, Island 3


Isolation ward, recreation room, window study, Island 3

Nurses' quarters, billowing shade at sunset, Island 3

Hospital extension, women's ward, Island 2


Administrative quarters, staff house, Island 3

Psychiatric Hospital, green room, Island 2

Measles ward, two chairs, Island 3


Nurses' quarters, Island 3

Snow-covered corridor, Island 3

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


Psychiatric hospital, wall study with light switch, Island 2





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