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28 Vignon Street

Walker Evans

USA, 1903 – 1975

Walker Evans was an American photographer and photojournalist best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression. Much of Evans's work from the FSA period uses the large-format, 200 × 250 mm camera. He said that his goal as a photographer was to make pictures that are "literate, authoritative, transcendent".

Evans studied Literature in Chicago, before deciding to become a photographer in 1928. Together with writer James Agee, he accepted an assignment for the magazine Fortune to document the crisis, which resulted in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Three Tenant Families (1941). This revolutionary book depicted the lives of three farming families in America’s South. In spite of the bitterness of their situation, Evans succeeded in conveying a deep-rooted sympathy for his subjects.

Walker Evans is also famous for his New York street photography. He refused to see himself as a photojournalist, insisting on his status as an artist and on the fact that his images always transcended current events.

Evans also taught at Yale University and was an influence to many later photographers, including Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and Robert Frank.

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