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Artist JR brings the ghosts of Ellis Island to life in a new book

Ellis Island was a gateway for the millions of immigrants entering the US between 1892 and 1954. About 10 per cent of those, either recovering from the effects of their travels or from pre-existing conditions, spent time at a hospital on the south side of the island.

Abandoned for more than 70 years, the building came back to life last year when French artist JR unveiled his ‘Unframed – Ellis Island’ project. Delving into an archive of photographs of its nurses, doctors and patients, he plastered fragments of their images on the building’s crumbling walls.

The exhibition may have closed but now the island’s spirits are being immortalised in a new book, The Ghosts of Ellis Island.

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