Friday, January 12, 2024

Walker Evans

Walker Evans is best known for his Depression era photographs of sharecroppers, migrants, and industrial workers.  Before he did that, however, Lincoln Kirstein jumpstarted his career by sponsoring his 1930-31trip to photograph Neoclassical architecture in New England.  In 1933 Kirstein organized Evans' first exhitition at the Museum of Modern Art.  Walker Evans rarely did portraits of his friends and patrons, but he did the one above of Lincoln around 1930.

If Lincoln Kirstein did nothing else to enrich my life (and he did lots more), making it possible for Walker Evans to take this haunting image of Alabama sharecropper Floyd Burroughs would have been enough.  When I first saw it in a college sociology text in 1970, I stopped and stared at it for quite a long time.  I kept that book just so I could have the picture, and I have kept looking at it for 53 years.  He's a beautiful man, but I think what really grabbed me was his eyes . . . and his dignity.

Lincoln Kirstein posed as his movie idol James Cagney for this Walter Evans photo.
He liked it so much that he used it in his 1994 autobiography.

I couldn't find any full nude photos by Walker Evans, but this is supposed to actually be one of him.



  1. I took nudes, and sometimes while nude myself.
    So, yeah, probably is.

    1. Thanks! If Mr. Evans took any nude photos that day, they aren't anywhere on line that I can find.