Walker Evans, American (1903-1975)
Untitled photo, possibly related: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1935, Walker Evans, photograph.
Show poster in Alabama town, 1936, Walker Evans, photograph.
Walker Evans' documentary-style, iconic photographs of Winston-Salem and the American southeast, distills the essence of life in the region and have become part of our nation’s shared visual history of the Great Depression.
His extensive photographic portfolio depicts daily life in different communities within America during and immediately following the Great Depression. Showcasing themes of abandonment, suffering, class differences, and scenes of everyday life, mainly in the American South, he captures how communities were impacted, and their current situations. More specifically in these prints, one can identify images from many different areas, including Winston Salem, which depicts the living situations of different socioeconomic groups, namely the poorer African American community. Other images show the portrayal of this racial group and their community in ads and other capacities at the time, like simply sitting out on the street and interacting, and an abandoned barber shop, a central point of socializing within the community.
This narrative of Southern life is similar to the messages found within Laymon’s novel, and Evans’ work articulates the American experience in that period, and bringing awareness to it.
© Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.