Walker Evans was perhaps the greatest "documentary artist" America has ever known. In a career that lasted forty-six years (1928-1974) Evans profoundly -- even radically -- changed the way Americans looked at themselves, their social causes, and their country. Drawn from a largely unseen private collection -- the largest private collection of Walker Evans photographs in the world -- this lavishly produced volume presents scores of pictures that have heretofore been inaccessible to the public.Included are the familiar images of Evans's southern work (1935-36), as well as far familiar images of Evans's friends and fellow artists; his work in Tahiti; photographs that he made of Victorian house architecture (1930-31); and photographs done on travels to England, Cuba, Maine, Nova Scotia, Chicago, and New Orleans. Importantly, Evans prefigured the work of photographers as diverse as Dorothea Lange, Harry Callahan, Robert Frank, and Garry Winogrand -- as well as two generations of American documentary photographers. Authors Belinda Rathbone and Clark Worswick have written lively texts delineating the overlooked byways of Evans's career at a moment when a rediscovery of his life's work is taking place in both the museum world and in the world of photographic collecting. The "lost" photographs of Walker Evans, perhaps the most important figure in twentieth-century photography, are seen here for the first time.
Belinda Rathbone is a photography historian who has written widely on modern photographers. In her definitive biography, Walker Evans (1995), Rathbone interviewed more than a hundred friends and colleagues of Evans's, as well as his two former wives, and combed archives andletters to illuminate his singular vision and the complex personality that Evans carefully withheld from his photographs.
Her research papers are now part of the Walker Evans Archive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.