Walker Evans Photo Essay

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In 1930 Evans's first publication of photographs appeared in a book of poetry by Hart Crane ().

He began to photograph nineteenth-century American houses, investing his subject with the descriptive, archival interest in vernacular detail that would characterize much of his later work.

It calls for a photographic practice at once socially edifying in content, and straightforward, detached, and undramatic in address. In 1922 he graduated from the Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., and began to study literature at Williams College.

It also emphasizes the "intention, logic, continuity, climax, sense, and perfection" that informed Evans's organization of the images, thus producing "a powerful monument to our moment." Evans placed within a sequence of images of common objects and interiors, and of portraits of men and women in rural or urban settings, alone or in groups, wealthy or poor, "with all their clear, hideous and beautiful detail." 7 A. He left Williams after one year of study and moved to New York, taking on various odd jobs.

, 1936 Artist's name and date inscribed below the image in graphite: Walker Evans 1935 Gelatin silver print, mounted on (contemporary) board Image: 6 1/8 x 7 9/16 in. A building facade of tattered clapboard, paper, and cloth reveals intricate layers of neglect and use, disintegration and repair.

Olney Fund, 1969 AMAM 1969.7 is an image of material decay, vernacular signs, and social complexity--inseparable aspects of Evans's view of the rural South.Evans took complete control of the installation, cropping, framing, and arranging the works according to a calculated plan of composition and sequence.In a significant departure from the photo-journals' captioning of images with observations of "human interest," Evans provided only numbers, which corresponded to a separate checklist of titles and dates.Unlike most other photojournalists at that time, he also wrote and laid out his photo essays himself, taking ownership of his photo essays from start to finish.One such package, on display at the museum, is titled “People and Places in Trouble.” The story, published in our March 1961 issue, shows a range of distressed subjects throughout the Eastern region of our country.Evans, born in 1903, is best known for documenting the effects of the Great Depression.His documentary style of photography not only captured the suffering and strength of the nation through portraits, but also via everyday details like junked automobiles and urban architecture.You only sense, by indirection, degrees of anger, shades of humiliation, and echoes of fear.” In many ways, Evans’ documentation and commentary on life in mid 20th century America is just as relevant today as it was back in his day.For a deeper view into Evans and his works, click through the gallery above.3 The photographs' significance was thus dependent on the visual and thematic organization of the entire installation, and on the contrapuntal play between specific images.Evans placed of 1935, an image of a New Orleans matron standing cheerfully among the stripes of her barbershop storefront, framed by a tidy grid of ironwork balustrades, plate glass, cracking stone, and bright paint.


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