An authority on photographer Walker Evans looks beyond the anonymity of his work to reveal an artist with a genius for capturing telling details of the American scene, and who profoundly influenced later photographers.
An authority on photographer Walker Evans looks beyond the anonymity of his work to reveal an artist with a genius for capturing telling detail who defined the American scene for an entire generation and profoundly influenced photographers who followed him.
Walker's Way: My Years with Walker Evans, Isabelle Storey's memoir of her ten-year marriage to Walker Evans, is the story of an elegant young woman's infatuation with a great American artist-with the man himself, with what he stood for aesthetically, and with his artistic and social circle-and how her initial passion gradually cooled into disenchantment. Isabelle Boschenstein was born in Switzerland and spent part of her early childhood in Berlin and Paris. She arrived in New York with her first husband, Alec von Steiger, in 1958. But their marriage lacked passion, and when she met Walker Evans, she fell for him headlong. Isabelle and Walker were married in 1960. Evans, already a prominent figure in the world of photography, introduced Isabelle to Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Helen Levitt, Robert Penn Warren, Alfred Kazin, William H. Whyte, and a host of other luminaries. But over the course of the next decade, her relationship with Walker became strained. In this candid and poignant narrative, which draws extensively on the couple's voluminous correspondence, Isabelle describes how their marriage grew more formal, cooler, and eventually failed altogether as Isabelle felt compelled to move on. Walker's Wayis a rare gem of personal history: an intimate portrait that remains dignified even as it waxes wistful. Appreciative in its spirit, never marred by scandalous or gratuitous revelation,Walker's Wayis a moving evocation of a vibrant young woman's growth into mature adulthood. Sumptuously illustrated with over 50 photographs, including more than a dozen previously unpublished works by Evans himself, Walker's Way provides a previously unseen glimpse into the domestic life of a major American photographer who ranks among the twentieth century's most celebrated, and enigmatic, artists.
Walker Evans, more than any other photographer in the thirties and forties, defined the documentary aesthetic. For over four decades he used his camera precisely and lucidly to record the American experience. He is generally acknowledged as America's finest documentary photographer of this century. He attempted to show both the beauty of his subjects and the horror of the social situations in which they lived. During the Depression, from 1935 to 1937, Evans took part in the most extensive photographic project ever carried out in the United States-the pictorial survey of the Farm Security Administration. The now-legendary collaboration with James Agee that resulted in the masterpiece Let Us Now Praise Famous Men documents his dedication to photographing the country he knew. Evans's talented eye and sensitive heart make him one of the great photographers of this century. This volume contains many of his best-known images.
This portrait of poverty-stricken Southern tenant farmers during the Great Depression has become one of the most influential books of the past century. In the summer of 1936, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans set out on assignment for Fortune magazine to explore the daily lives of white sharecroppers in the South. Their journey would prove an extraordinary collaboration—and a watershed literary event. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was published to enormous critical acclaim. An unsparing record in words and pictures of this place, the people who shaped the land, and the rhythm of their lives, it would eventually be recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century—and serve as an inspiration to artists from composer Aaron Copland to David Simon, creator of The Wire. With an additional sixty-four archival photos in this edition, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men remains as relevant and important as when it was first published over seventy-seven years ago. “One of the most brutally revealing records of an America that was ignored by society—a class of people whose level of poverty left them as spiritually, mentally, and physically worn as the land on which they toiled. Time has done nothing to decrease this book’s power.” —Library Journal
"As novelist and poet Andrei Codrescu points out in the essay that accompanies this selection of photographs from the Getty Museum's collection, Evans's photographs are the work of an artist whose temperament was distinctly at odds with Beals's impassioned rhetoric. Evans's photographs of Cuba were made by a young, still maturing artist who - as Codrescu argues - was just beginning to combine his early, formalist aesthetic with the social concerns that would figure prominently in his later work."--Jacket.
Walker Evans is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. This is the 75th anniversary edition reissue of the seminal photography book produced to be aesthetically accurate to the original 1938 edition. His elegant, crystal-clear photographs and articulate publications have inspired generations of artists.
Between 1936 and 1941 Walker Evans and James Agee collaborated on one of the most provocative books in American literature, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). While at work on this book, the two also conceived another less well-known but equally important book project entitled Many Are Called. This three-year photographic study of subway passengers made with a hidden camera was first published in 1966, with an introduction written by Agee in 1940. Long out of print, Many Are Called is now being reissued with a new foreword and afterword and with exquisitely reproduced images from newly prepared digital scans. Many Are Called came to fruition at a slow pace. In 1938, Walker Evans began surreptitiously photographing people on the New York City subway. With his camera hidden in his coat—the lens peeking through a buttonhole—he captured the faces of riders hurtling through the dark tunnels, wrapped in their own private thoughts. By 1940-41, Evans had made over six hundred photographs and had begun to edit the series. The book remained unpublished until 1966 when The Museum of Modern Art mounted an exhibition of Evans’s subway portraits. This beautiful new edition—published in the centenary year of the NYC subway—is an essential book for all admirers of Evans’s unparalleled photographs, Agee’s elegant prose, and the great City of New York.
Walker Evans,Maria Morris Hambourg,Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.),San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975) is best known for his portraits of Depression-era America, a number of which were included in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), his famous collaboration with writer James Agee. In 1942, at the behest of retired journalist Karl Bickel, Evans journeyed to Sarasota to take photographs for The Mangrove Coast, a book Bickel was writing about the long and colorful history of Florida's Gulf Coast. Featured in Walker Evans: Florida are the surprising images Evans took during that six-week stay in the area, which constitute a little-known chapter in Evans's distinguished career. Far from stereotypical postcard pictures of sandy beaches and palm trees, Evans captured a region of contradictions. Here in the nation's seaside vacationland, Evans focused his lens on decaying architecture, crowded street scenes, retirees, and numerous images of animals, railroad cars, and circus wagons from Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, whose winter home was Sarasota. Accompanying the fifty-two images in Walker Evans: Florida is novelist Robert Plunket's wry account of the human and geographic landscape of Florida.
University of Texas at Austin. Humanities Research Center,Walker Evans,James Agee
photographs : [catalogue of] an exhibition circulated under the auspices of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York [held at the] Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 18 September-31 October 1976
Author: International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
Walker Evans's career spread over 46 fitful and prolific years, yet in a scant two, 1935-1936, he produced the singular body of work that came to define him. During that brief time, while working for the Farm Security Administration (previously the U.S. Resettlement Administration) photographing the consequences of the Great Depression, he refined a hybrid style that combined documentation with sly personal comment. He delighted in traveling incognito as an artless photojournalist, but with the independence to satisfy his own artistic designs. Walker Evans: Lyric Documentarypresents these seminal images for the first time as a comprehensive, cohesive body of work, in chronological order. These are prime examples of Evans's alchemy, his seemingly effortless transformation of mundane fact into sweeping lyricism. They not only define his mature style, but also offer a path for artists of future generations. Evans has been called the most important American artist of his century, and the impact of his vision reaches well beyond the province of photography. With texts by John T. Hill, Heinz Liesbrock and Allan Trachtenberg.
Walker Evans shot the photographs collected in "Labor Anonymous" as an assignment for "Fortune" magazine, which published a small selection of 20 images in its November 1946 issue, under the title "On a Saturday Afternoon in Detroit." Until now, however, the entire series of 50 photographs has never been reproduced. Evans' extraordinary serial studies of the facial expressions and postures of Detroit workers walking the city's streets are fascinating both as portraiture and as a surprising dimension of his photographic style. Shooting passersby against a plywood backdrop as they crossed his field of vision from distant right to close left (some noticing him, most not), with the light striking and modeling their features, Evans found that what he was creating with these images was "the physiognomy of a nation." This book compiles the photographs, contact sheets, small-version printlets, Evans' annotations to newspaper clippings, drafts for an unpublished text, telegrams and every available print Evans made, along with the "Fortune" spread as published. "Labor Anonymous" captures a long-vanished moment in American history, and a crucial project in Evans' oeuvre. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Walker Evans (1903-75) took up photography in 1928. His book collaboration with James Agee, "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" (1941), which portrayed the lives of three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Depression, has become one of that era's most defining documents. Evans joined the staff of "Time" magazine in 1945, and shortly after moved to "Fortune" magazine, where he stayed until 1965. That year, he became a professor of photography at the Yale University School of Art. Evans died at his home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975.
This resplendent volume is the most comprehensive study of Walker Evans's work ever published, containing masterful images accompanied by authoritative commentary from leading photography historians. The name Walker Evans conjures images of the American everyman. Whether it's his iconic contributions to James Agee's depressionera classic book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, his architectural explorations of antebellum plantations, or his subway series, taken with a camera hidden in his coat, Evans's accessible and eloquent photographs speak to us all. This comprehensive book traces the entire arc of Evans's remarkable career, from the 1930s to the 1970s. The illustrations in the book range from his earliest images taken with a vest pocket camera to his final photos using the then new SX-70 because his regular equipment had become too heavy to carry around. The book includes commentary from three of Evans's longtime friends, photographers John T. Hill and Jerry Thompson and professor emeritus (Yale University) Alan Trachtenberg. Their insight and first-hand experience give depth to their critical writings on Evans's work. In addition to offering a broad perspective on Evans's work, the book also clarifies the photographer's "anti-art" philosophy. Eschewing aesthetic hyperbole, Evans wanted his pictures to resonate with a wide audience. At the same time, his natural curiosity made him one of the most inventive photographers of all time. What these photographs and writings attest to is a huge and timeless talent, which came not from a camera, but from Evans's uniquely hungry eye.