Stephen Wilkes: Nurses’ Quarters, Island 3 1998, Cibachrome print
Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar Ave., 505-992-0800 The descendants of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and its closing in 1954 number in the tens of millions. The rooms that harbored them as they were being processed through the immigration center now sit empty and desolate, given over to the decay of more than half a century. The exhibition Ellis Island: Ghosts of Our Ancestors marks the 20th anniversary of photographer Stephen Wilkes’ contemporary portraits of the abandoned buildings on the island’s southern side. He began the series in 1998 and spent the next five years capturing the immigration center’s interior as well as its adjoining hospital. The series is a timely reminder, in an age of fierce debate over immigration policy, that immigrants from many nations form an indelible part of the fabric of America. The show continues through Nov. 18.