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.
Walker Evans is widely recognized as one of the greatest American photographers of the twentieth century, and the J. Paul Getty Museum owns one of the most comprehensive collections of his work, including more of his vintage prints than any other museum in the world. This lavishly illustrated volume brings together for the first time all of the Museum’s Walker Evans holdings. Included here are familiar images—such as Evans’s photographs of tenant farmers and their families, made in the 1930s and later published in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men—and images that are much less familiar—such as the photographs Evans made in the 1940s of the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers circus, or his very late Polaroids, made in the 1970s. In addition, many previously unpublished Evans photographs, and variant croppings of classic images, appear here for the first time. Author Judith Keller has written a lively, informative text that places these photographs in the larger context of Evans’s life and career and the culture—especially the popular culture—of the time. In so doing, she has produced an indispensible volume for anyone interested in the history of photography or American culture in the twentieth century. Also included is the most comprehensive bibliography on Walker Evans published to date.
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.
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.
Coinciding with the increasing intersections between visual and literary studies, this timely reappraisal of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men sheds light on the book's unclassifiable status as part imaginative fiction, documentary effort, ethnographic study, and modernist prose.
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.