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.
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
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
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.
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.
Virginia-Lee Webb,Walker Evans,Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
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'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.
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts,Edward Hopper
The Collection of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Author: Christian A. Peterson,Walker Evans,Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Associate curator of photography at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, describe Evans's photographic vision and include fascinating information about the acquisition history of many of the photographs in this book. Illustrated with almost one hundred high-quality black-and-white photographs, Walker Evans presents the full breadth of Evans's expansive and varied photographic art.
International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
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 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.
Through the evidence of trial and error in successive images and through his own word's, this book shows how Hunter Evans worked. The 747 photographs document chronologically his choice of subject and his lifelong technical experimentation.