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Walker Evans (St. Louis, Missouri), November 3, 1903 – New Haven (Connecticut), April 10, 1975) was an American photographer.
He studied at Williams College between 1922 and 1923. In 1926 he traveled to the Sorbonne (Paris) to continue his studies in literature and languages, with the aim of becoming a writer.
In 1928, when he returned to New York, he became interested in the world of photography as a means of capturing everyday reality because of its similarities with poetry. He used a 6 x 12 camera, which replaced a short time by a 15 x 20, with which he toured some cities in the United States with the intellectual and patron Lincoln Kirstein.
In 1933 he carried out a series of photographs that served to illustrate the work The crime of Cuba, a book by journalist Carleton Beals in which the situation of the island was denounced during the mandate of Gerardo Machado y Morales.
During the Great Depression, between 1935 and 1936, he worked mainly in the south for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), recording the precarious and difficult situation suffered by farmers and sharecroppers, with the idea of demonstrating that rural areas poor people needed government help. He became deeply involved in this, coming to live, along with James Agee, with a family of sharecroppers for six weeks to learn first hand their situation.
In 1938 the MOMA in New York dedicated his first monographic exhibition on architectural photos.
He won a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 1940. In 1941, Evans and Agee jointly published Let’s Praise Famous Men Now, a poetic but cold interpretation of the southern sharecroppers’ vision, richly documented with photographs and texts.
He joined Time magazine in 1945 and Fortune magazine in 1965. Between 1945 and 1965, as associate editor of Fortune magazine, he carried out photo essays on different topics. Among them: The New York Subway, Ghost Cities of the American West and Ancient Churches, whose results were jointly published in the year 1966 in a book entitled Many are called.
From 1965, until his death in 1975, he worked as a professor of photography at Yale University’s art school, where he eventually obtained a chair. His photos stood out for his humanity and realism. In his work on buildings and interiors man is always present.
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