Walker Evans is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His elegant, crystal-clear photographs and articulate publications have inspired several generations of artists, from Helen Levitt and Robert Frank to Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander. The progenitor of the documentary tradition in American photography, his principal subject was the vernacular – the indigenous expressions of a people found in roadside stands, cheap cafés, advertisements and small-town main streets. For fifty years, from the late 1920s to the early 1970s, Evans recorded the American scene with the nuance of a poet and the precision of a surgeon, creating an encyclopedic visual catalogue of modern America in the making.
First published by The Museum of Modern Art in 1938, and often out of print since then, American Photographs has been the key touchstone for photographers and those who seek to understand the lyrical potential of the medium. This Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Edition, with sumptuous duotone plates complementing the elegant restraint of the original typography and design, makes Evans’s landmark book available again. For the first time, digital technologies aid in emulating the precise cropping and finely tuned balance of the 1938 reproductions, capturing as never before the look and feel of the first edition.
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