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Walker Evans
Walker Evans
Walker Evans

Walker Evans

Country: United States
Birth: 1903 | Death: 1975

Walker Evans was an American photographer best known for documenting the effects of the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The large-format, 8x10-inch camera was used extensively by Evans during the FSA period. As a photographer, he aspired to create images that are "literate, authoritative, transcendent". Many of his works are in museum permanent collections, and he has had retrospectives at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or George Eastman House.

Walker Evans was born into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, to Jessie (née Crane) and Walker. His father worked as an ad executive. He grew up in Toledo, Chicago, and New York City. In 1922, he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He attended Williams College for a year, studying French literature and spending most of his time in the library, before dropping out.

In 1926, he returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City after spending a year in Paris. Among his friends were John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein. From 1927 to 1929, he worked as a stockbroker's clerk on Wall Street. Evans began photographing in 1928, while living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in Hart Crane's poetry collection The Bridge.

Dock-worker, Havana, Cuba, 1932 - Walker Evans
Dock-worker, Havana, Cuba, 1932
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
After spending a year in Paris in 1926, Walker Evans returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City. John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein were among his friends. He was a clerk for a stockbroker firm in Wall street from 1927 to 1929. Evans took up photography in 1928 around the time he was living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in the poetry book The Bridge by Hart Crane. Lincoln Kirstein sponsored a photo series of Victorian houses in the Boston area in 1931. In 1933, he photographed the revolt against dictator Gerardo Machado in Cuba for the publisher of Carleton Beals' then-upcoming book, The Crime of Cuba. Evans briefly met Ernest Hemingway in Cuba. 

With the camera, it’s all or nothing. You either get what you’re after at once, or what you do has to be worthless.

-- Walker Evans


Evans began a two-month photographic campaign for the Resettlement Administration (RA) in West Virginia and Pennsylvania in 1935. From October to December, he continued to photograph for the RA and, later, the Farm Security Administration (FSA), primarily in the South. While still working for the FSA, he and writerJames Agee were sent on assignment to Hale County, Alabama, by Fortune magazine for a story that the magazine later decided not to run.

Allie Mae Burroughs, 1935 or 1936 - Walker Evans
Allie Mae Burroughs, 1935 or 1936
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a groundbreaking book published in 1941, featured Evans' photographs and Agee's text detailing the duo's stay with three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Great Depression. Its detailed account of three farming families paints a heartbreaking picture of rural poverty. In her 1980 book Diana & Nikon: Essays on the Aesthetic of Photography, critic Janet Malcolm noted a similarity to the Beals' book, pointing out the contradiction between Agee's prose and the quiet, magisterial beauty of Evans' photographs of sharecroppers. The three families, led by Bud Fields, Floyd Burroughs, and Frank Tingle, lived in the Hale County town of Akron, Alabama, and the landowners told them that Evans and Agee were "Soviet agents," though Allie Mae Burroughs, Floyd's wife, later recalled her dismissing that information.

Evans' photographs of the families immortalized their misery and poverty during the Great Depression. For its 75th anniversary issue, Fortune returned to Hale County and the descendants of the three families in September 2005. When Evans and Agee visited the Burroughs family, Charles Burroughs, who was four years old at the time, was "still angry" at them for not even sending the family a copy of the book; Floyd Burroughs' son was also reportedly angry because the family was "cast in a light that they couldn't do any better, that they were doomed, ignorant."

The secret of photography is, the camera takes on the character and personality of the handler.

-- Walker Evans


Walker Evans remained with the FSA until 1938. An exhibition, Walker Evans: American Photographs was on display at Museum of Modern Art in New York that year. This was the museum's first exhibition devoted solely to the work of a single photographer. The catalogue also included an essay by Lincoln Kirstein, whom Evans had met in his early days in New York. Evans took his first photographs in the New York subway in 1938, with a camera hidden in his coat. Many are Called was a book that collected these stories in 1966. Evans collaborated with and mentored Helen Levitt in 1938 and 1939. Evans, like such other photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, rarely spent time in the darkroom creating prints from his own negatives. He only loosely supervised the printing of most of his photographs, sometimes only attaching handwritten notes to negatives with printing instructions.

Evans was an avid reader and writer who joined Time Magazine's staff in 1945. He then worked as an editor at Fortune magazine until 1965. That same year, he joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art as a photography professor. Evans completed a black and white portfolio of Brown Brothers Harriman's offices and partners for publication in Partners in Banking, which was published in 1968 to commemorate the private bank's 150th anniversary. He also shot a long series with the then-new Polaroid SX-70 camera in 1973 and 1974, after age and poor health made it difficult for him to work with elaborate equipment. In 1971, the Museum of Modern Art held another exhibition of his work, simply titled Walker Evans.

Walker Evans died in 1975 at his home in Lyme, Connecticut. The Estate of Walker Evans donated its holdings to New York City's The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the sole owner of all Walker Evans works of art in all media. The only exception is a group of about 1,000 negatives in the Library of Congress collection that were created for the Resettlement Administration (RA) / Farm Security Administration (FSA). Evans's RA / FSA works are free to use. Evans was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2000.

Images: © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 

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Nick Turpin is a British street photographer and advertising and design photographer. He is based in London and near Lyon, France. He studied an art and design foundation course at the University of Gloucestershire, specializing in photography; then a BA in photography, film and video at the University of Westminster. Whilst at university he showed his second-year photojournalism stories to the picture editor at The Independent and in 1990, aged 20, quit his course to be a press photographer for the newspaper. He left The Independent in 1997 for a career in advertising and design photography that would finance his street photography (for example he photographed the cover of Bridget Jones's Diary (1995) by Helen Fielding). Turpin established the first international collective of street photographers, In-Public, in 2000 with the intention of bringing together like-minded photographers to hold exhibitions, produce books, and conduct workshops. Colin Westerbeck, writing in Time in 2011, said Turpin was "notable for having been instrumental in a collaborative documentary project", namely In-Public. He left the collective in 2018. His work has been published in his own book, On The Night Bus (2016), and in various survey publications, as well as being included in a number of group exhibitions. He publishes through Nick Turpin Publishing, makes short films, and gives workshops on street photography.Source: Wikipedia Artist Statement "There is something about the making of photographs in public places that resonates with me more than any other kind of photography. I think it simply suits my personality. It’s nice, when taking pictures in the street, not to have to participate in any way in the stream of life passing you by. It makes me feel special to be there but not to be chatting, not to be shopping or not even to be heading for somewhere else. I feel like I am invisible to the passing crowds. This in turn leads to a loss of my sense of self, which is the finest feeling of all. Having worked for several years both in newspapers and advertising, I am fascinated by the things that I ‘choose’ to photograph when I leave the house with my camera but without a ‘story’ or ‘brief’ to fulfill. These ‘choices’ are revealing,in some way, of who I am. I go to the busiest, public places to discover something very personal and private. It is an inescapable truth that the resulting photographs are as much about my inner state as they are about the external world they were made in. They are all self-portraits. It is important to me that my personal pictures don’t have to ‘do’ anything. They don’t have to sell in a gallery or sit well beside the ads in a magazine. I don’t have to make pictures that are easily categorised. They are not reportage, there is no subject, they are not art, there is no great technical craft or aesthetic beauty. They are just pictures about life. For these reasons, Picture Editors, Art Directors and Curators don’t know what to do with them, where to put them. I like that." -- Nick TurpinSource: In-Public
Walker Evans
United States
1903 | † 1975
Walker Evans was an American photographer best known for documenting the effects of the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The large-format, 8x10-inch camera was used extensively by Evans during the FSA period. As a photographer, he aspired to create images that are "literate, authoritative, transcendent". Many of his works are in museum permanent collections, and he has had retrospectives at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or George Eastman House. Walker Evans was born into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, to Jessie (née Crane) and Walker. His father worked as an ad executive. He grew up in Toledo, Chicago, and New York City. In 1922, he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He attended Williams College for a year, studying French literature and spending most of his time in the library, before dropping out. In 1926, he returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City after spending a year in Paris. Among his friends were John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein. From 1927 to 1929, he worked as a stockbroker's clerk on Wall Street. Evans began photographing in 1928, while living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in Hart Crane's poetry collection The Bridge. Dock-worker, Havana, Cuba, 1932© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art After spending a year in Paris in 1926, Walker Evans returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City. John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein were among his friends. He was a clerk for a stockbroker firm in Wall street from 1927 to 1929. Evans took up photography in 1928 around the time he was living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in the poetry book The Bridge by Hart Crane. Lincoln Kirstein sponsored a photo series of Victorian houses in the Boston area in 1931. In 1933, he photographed the revolt against dictator Gerardo Machado in Cuba for the publisher of Carleton Beals' then-upcoming book, The Crime of Cuba. Evans briefly met Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.  With the camera, it’s all or nothing. You either get what you’re after at once, or what you do has to be worthless. -- Walker Evans Evans began a two-month photographic campaign for the Resettlement Administration (RA) in West Virginia and Pennsylvania in 1935. From October to December, he continued to photograph for the RA and, later, the Farm Security Administration (FSA), primarily in the South. While still working for the FSA, he and writerJames Agee were sent on assignment to Hale County, Alabama, by Fortune magazine for a story that the magazine later decided not to run. Allie Mae Burroughs, 1935 or 1936© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a groundbreaking book published in 1941, featured Evans' photographs and Agee's text detailing the duo's stay with three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Great Depression. Its detailed account of three farming families paints a heartbreaking picture of rural poverty. In her 1980 book Diana & Nikon: Essays on the Aesthetic of Photography, critic Janet Malcolm noted a similarity to the Beals' book, pointing out the contradiction between Agee's prose and the quiet, magisterial beauty of Evans' photographs of sharecroppers. The three families, led by Bud Fields, Floyd Burroughs, and Frank Tingle, lived in the Hale County town of Akron, Alabama, and the landowners told them that Evans and Agee were "Soviet agents," though Allie Mae Burroughs, Floyd's wife, later recalled her dismissing that information. Evans' photographs of the families immortalized their misery and poverty during the Great Depression. For its 75th anniversary issue, Fortune returned to Hale County and the descendants of the three families in September 2005. When Evans and Agee visited the Burroughs family, Charles Burroughs, who was four years old at the time, was "still angry" at them for not even sending the family a copy of the book; Floyd Burroughs' son was also reportedly angry because the family was "cast in a light that they couldn't do any better, that they were doomed, ignorant." The secret of photography is, the camera takes on the character and personality of the handler. -- Walker Evans Walker Evans remained with the FSA until 1938. An exhibition, Walker Evans: American Photographs was on display at Museum of Modern Art in New York that year. This was the museum's first exhibition devoted solely to the work of a single photographer. The catalogue also included an essay by Lincoln Kirstein, whom Evans had met in his early days in New York. Evans took his first photographs in the New York subway in 1938, with a camera hidden in his coat. Many are Called was a book that collected these stories in 1966. Evans collaborated with and mentored Helen Levitt in 1938 and 1939. Evans, like such other photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, rarely spent time in the darkroom creating prints from his own negatives. He only loosely supervised the printing of most of his photographs, sometimes only attaching handwritten notes to negatives with printing instructions. Evans was an avid reader and writer who joined Time Magazine's staff in 1945. He then worked as an editor at Fortune magazine until 1965. That same year, he joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art as a photography professor. Evans completed a black and white portfolio of Brown Brothers Harriman's offices and partners for publication in Partners in Banking, which was published in 1968 to commemorate the private bank's 150th anniversary. He also shot a long series with the then-new Polaroid SX-70 camera in 1973 and 1974, after age and poor health made it difficult for him to work with elaborate equipment. In 1971, the Museum of Modern Art held another exhibition of his work, simply titled Walker Evans. Walker Evans died in 1975 at his home in Lyme, Connecticut. The Estate of Walker Evans donated its holdings to New York City's The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the sole owner of all Walker Evans works of art in all media. The only exception is a group of about 1,000 negatives in the Library of Congress collection that were created for the Resettlement Administration (RA) / Farm Security Administration (FSA). Evans's RA / FSA works are free to use. Evans was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2000. Images: © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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I am an Iranian documentary photographer based in Shiraz, Iran. I was born in 1983 and have a MSc degree in Geology. Being a photographer has been my lifelong goal so I started photography since March 2018 and I left my job as an associate research director to focus all my attention on visual storytelling. As part of my career, I have performed some researches in water management and climate change. That is why my photography projects focus on environmental issues and their social impacts. In addition, cultural and social themes attract my curiosity. My aim is to photograph people and create stories that witness the multiplicity of human experience. The Longest Paths Begin With A Step Patrilineal is one of the important indicators of male superiority over women that is observed in all patriarchal societies such as Iran. The patriarchy considers the continuation of the generation through men. This project is about a rural mother who has been trying to change this belief and tradition since her pregnancy and provide an environment free of discrimination between her six-year-old daughter and her son. Although maintaining this balance in the village is difficult due to group life, but the mother's efforts have been so successful that the girl's relationship with her brother is sincere and away from jealousy. This project has started since the mother's pregnancy, about 17 months ago, and is a continuation of the project that started about 2 years ago in one of the remote villages of Fars province in southwestern Iran. This project is still ongoing. Under the Roof of the Davar
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