Walker Evans


With ambitions of becoming a writer, Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975) went to Paris in 1926 and fell in with the literary circle surrounding bookshop proprietor Sylvia Beach. He took up photography and returned to New York in 1927. Presumably around 1930 he became acquainted with the work of Eugène Atget, which inspired him to shoot photo series of Victorian architecture. These were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1933. From 1935 to 1937 he documented small-town life, everyday culture, and the rural population of the American South for the Farm Security Administration (FSA); the photographs were published in 1941 in the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Man. Evans is considered the founder of the documentary tradition in American photography.