Walker Evans

Walker Evans ( November 3, 1903 * St. Louis, Missouri, † April 10, 1975 New Haven (Connecticut) ) was an American photographer.


Walker Evans was born in 1903 in St. Louis, in the state of Missouri. Raised in Chicago, he studied literature before 1928 to be decided Photographer. From 1935 to 1938 he took part as a photographer on a project of the government, portraying impoverished sharecropper families in Hale County ( Alabama). Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, worked at the Walker Evans with the writer James Agee, one of the best-known record of the life of impoverished white Southerners during the 1930s. Originally commissioned by Life Magazine in order to submit a report, Evans and Agee spent six weeks in Alabama and documented the lives of three families. Every detail of her joyless, hard life was documented by them with the utmost care: Your little furniture, their ragged clothes, their scrawny chickens, the cheap calendar and newspaper ads with which their fireplace wall was decorated. The book was not Verkaufsverfolg in the 1940s. It has been recognized only in the 1960s by a wide audience.

From 1945-1965 Evans taught at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1965 he received his professorship. In 1971 he was honored by the Museum of Modern Art with a retrospective. Four years later, Walker Evans died in New Haven.


He became famous for his photographic series documenting the poverty of farm workers during the Great Depression. During this time he worked for the Farm Security Administration. Images from this period have been issued already in 1938 in the New York Museum of Modern Art. 1941 published Walker Evans with James Agee ( text ) the pioneering band prices I want the big men. The pictures show the living and working conditions of three families in Akron, Hale County, Alabama.

Walker Evans saw himself definitely not as a photojournalist, but as an artist, although he also worked already in the 30s, for Fortune magazine for many years. He despised the purpose limitation of journalistic photo documentation, its exclusive sense he saw in the imaging of other current events.

Walker Evans was the first photographer ever had the honor to get dedicated a special exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.


  • 2010: Walker Evans. Decade by Decade, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 2012 Walker Evans. Decade by Decade An exhibition of the Cincinnati Art Museum curated by James Crump, Chief Curator / Curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum, in collaboration with the Photographic Collection / SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne; September 21, 2012 to January 20, 2013 Photographic Collection / SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne
  • 2013: Upper Austrian Landesmuseum, Provincial Gallery, Linz, Upper Austria and Huis Marseille, Amsterdam.


  • James Agee: Let us now Praise Famous Men Three Tenant Families, Houghton, Miffin, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 1941. last German edition: Rates I want the big men, translated by Karin Graf. The Other library, Berlin, 2013, ISBN 978-3-8477-0344-0.