Our Current Exhibit

Unframed—Ellis Island

In August 2014, French artist JR received an unprecedented invitation to work in the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, on the south side of the island that has been abandoned and closed to visitors since 1954.

The installation, “Unframed — Ellis Island,” by the French artist JR, brings the landmark hospital buildings, its patients and staff members, to grainy but wrenching life. There are nearly two-dozen, carefully chosen pieces, all were made from archival photos taken in and around the hospital, 100 or so years ago. “The idea is to respect the architecture,” JR said, moving past a wheat-pasted tableau where a woman’s hat hovers amid tree limbs seen through a broken window. “I let the walls decide what part of the image should appear.” The installation is site-specific. Doctors float over the broken white tiles of the surgical theater; a young woman seems to rest on the one remaining wiry bed frame; nurses laugh across the lockers in a linen storage room. The work, which is accessible by a guided HARD HAT TOUR, will remain up "until it decides to disappear."

French street artist JR awakens history with his 'Unframed – Ellis Island' Exhibition. The tour and exhibition provide an immersive visual and sensory experience loaded with historical significance. It is not to be missed!

- Rachael Silverstein, The Culture Trip