Walker Evans: Documentarian of the Great Depression

American photographer Walker Evans is perhaps best remembered for his images of America in the 1930s

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American photographer Walker Evans is perhaps best remembered for his images of America in the 1930s. Born on November 3 in 1903, Evans initially aspired to become a writer and studied French literature, but by 1928, he changed course and took up photography. Starting off as an advertising photographer, Evans worked for the Farm Security Administration, a New Deal organization whose photography program set out to document rural America during the Great Depression.

Traveling throughout the southeastern United States, Evans created a body of work that captured the suffering of communities of people who were hardest-hit by the nation's economic troubles. "Here are the records of the age before an imminent collapse," wrote friend and critic Lincoln Kirstein. "His pictures exist to testify to the symptoms of waste and selfishness that caused the ruin and to salvage whatever was splendid for the future reference of the survivors."

<evans' 1971="" a="" about="" above="" across="" all="" american="" an="" and="" archives="" are="" artist="" arts="" as="" attitude="" be="" beginning="" better="" br="" by="" can="" collections="" conventional="" could="" course="" courtesy="" cultivate="" day="" decided="" dive="" do="" done="" early="" educated="" enigmatic="" evans="" examples="" exclusively="" fact="" fairly="" for="" get="" girls="" go="" goodies="" guarded="" had="" have="" he="" himself.="" his="" hold="" href="http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/results/?num=10&amp;name=walker+evans&amp;title=&amp;keywords=&amp;type=&amp;number=&amp;btnG.x=0&amp;btnG.y=0&amp;btnG=Find" i="" idea="" if="" image="" including="" interest="" interview="" into="" into.="" it="" it.="" joined="" just="" kind="" know="" level="" like="" little="" made="" major="" many="" more="" much="" museums="" my="" naughty="" no="" non-fsa="" of="" on="" online="" particular="" people="" personal="" photography.="" poor="" preferring="" pursue="" reminisces="" revealing="" s="" see="" serious="" since="" smithsonian.="" t="" t.="" that="" the="" there="" thing.="" this="" through="" to="" toward="" wanted="" was="" way="" wealth="" what="" works="" world="" would="" years="" you="">American Art Museum has a number of online offerings.</evans'>

<evans' 1971="" a="" about="" above="" across="" all="" american="" an="" and="" archives="" are="" artist="" arts="" as="" attitude="" be="" beginning="" better="" br="" by="" can="" collections="" conventional="" could="" course="" courtesy="" cultivate="" day="" decided="" dive="" do="" done="" early="" educated="" enigmatic="" evans="" examples="" exclusively="" fact="" fairly="" for="" get="" girls="" go="" goodies="" guarded="" had="" have="" he="" himself.="" his="" hold="" href="http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/results/?num=10&amp;name=walker+evans&amp;title=&amp;keywords=&amp;type=&amp;number=&amp;btnG.x=0&amp;btnG.y=0&amp;btnG=Find" i="" idea="" if="" image="" including="" interest="" interview="" into="" into.="" it="" it.="" joined="" just="" kind="" know="" level="" like="" little="" made="" major="" many="" more="" much="" museums="" my="" naughty="" no="" non-fsa="" of="" on="" online="" particular="" people="" personal="" photography.="" poor="" preferring="" pursue="" reminisces="" revealing="" s="" see="" serious="" since="" smithsonian.="" t="" t.="" that="" the="" there="" thing.="" this="" through="" to="" toward="" wanted="" was="" way="" wealth="" what="" works="" world="" would="" years="" you="">For those of you interested in seeing more photography from the Farm Security Administration, which encouraged the work of other masters such as Dorothea Lange, check out this online collection from the Library of Congress.</evans'>

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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