Image Copyright Restricted

Man and Movie Poster, New Orleans

1935–36
Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975)


Dimensions

Image: 17.2 x 22.3 cm (6 3/4 x 8 3/4 in.) Sheet: 20.1 x 25.2 cm (7 15/16 x 9 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

1987.500

Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

When Walker Evans was hired by Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration in 1935, he embarked on one of the most productive and creative periods in his career. He made several trips to the South, where he documented the lives of the rural poor as well as residents of cities, always drawn to vernacular artifacts of American society such as urban signs and roadside billboards. This direct, uninflected image powerfully contrasts the careworn look of the black man and the cheerful smiles of the huge white faces on the weathered movie poster behind him. It was probably shot with a right-angle viewfinder, which Evans sometimes used to take revealing pictures of people who were unaware they were being photographed.

Inscription

Verso: Walker Evans stamp

Provenance

Edwynn Houk Gallery, Chicago, IL; purchased October 1987.

Credit Line

Sophie M. Friedman Fund

Copyright

© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art