November 3, 1903 – April 10, 1975
“I work rather blindly. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don’t know where you get the impetus and response to what’s before your eyes.”
– Walker Evans
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, Lee Friedlander, and Bernd and Hilla Becher. The progenitor of the documentary tradition in American photography, Evans had the extraordinary ability to see the present as if it were already the past, and to translate that knowledge and historically inflected vision into an enduring art. His principal subject was the vernacular—the indigenous expressions of a people found in roadside stands, cheap cafés, advertisements , simple bedrooms, 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.
Born in 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri, Evans dabbled with painting as a child, collected picture postcards, and made snapshots of his family and friends with a small Kodak camera. After a year at Williams College, he quit school and moved to New York City, finding work in bookstores and at the New York Public Library, where he could freely indulge his passion for T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, and E. E. Cummings, as well as Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Flaubert. In 1927, after a year in Paris polishing his French and writing short stories and nonfiction essays, Evans returned to New York intent on becoming a writer. However, he also took up the camera and gradually redirected his aesthetic impulses to bring the strategies of literature—lyricism, irony, incisive description, and narrative structure—into the medium of photography.
Most of Evans’ early photographs reveal the influence of European modernism, specifically its formalism and emphasis on dynamic graphic structures. But he gradually moved away from this highly aestheticized style to develop his own evocative but more reticent notions of realism, of the spectator’s role, and of the poetic resonance of ordinary subjects. The Depression years of 1935–36 were ones of remarkable productivity and accomplishment for Evans. In June 1935, he accepted a job from the U.S. Department of the Interior to photograph a government-built resettlement community of unemployed coal miners in West Virginia. He quickly parlayed this temporary employment into a full-time position as an “information specialist” in the Resettlement (later Farm Security) Administration, a New Deal agency in the Department of Agriculture.
Under the direction of Roy Stryker, the RA/FSA photographers (Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, and Russell Lee, among others) were assigned to document small-town life and to demonstrate how the federal government was attempting to improve the lot of rural communities during the Depression. Evans, however, worked with little concern for the ideological agenda or the suggested itineraries and instead answered a personal need to distill the essence of American life from the simple and the ordinary. His photographs of roadside architecture, rural churches , small-town barbers , and cemeteries reveal a deep respect for the neglected traditions of the common man and secured his reputation as America’s preeminent documentarian. From their first appearance in magazines and books in the late 1930s, these direct, iconic images entered the public’s collective consciousness and are now deeply embedded in the nation’s shared visual history of the Depression.
In the summer of 1936, Evans took a leave of absence from the Resettlement Administration to travel to the South with his friend, the writer James Agee, who had been assigned to write an article on tenant farmers by Fortunemagazine; Evans was to be the photographer. Although the magazine ultimately rejected Agee’s long text about three families in Alabama, what in time emerged from the collaboration was Let Us Now Praise Famous Men(1941), a lyric journey to the limits of direct observation. Its 500 pages of words and pictures is a volatile mix of documentary description and intensely subjective, even autobiographical writing, which endures as one of the seminal achievements of twentieth-century American letters. Evans’ photographs for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men are stunningly honest representations of the faces, bedrooms, and clothing of individual farmers living on a dry hillside seventeen miles north of Greensboro, Alabama. As a series, they seem to have elucidated the whole tragedy of the Great Depression; individually, they are intimate, transcendent, and enigmatic. For many, they are the apogee of Evans’ career in photography.
In September 1938, the Museum of Modern Art opened American Photographs, a retrospective of Evans’ first decade of photography. The museum simultaneously published American Photographs—still for many artists the benchmark against which all photographic monographs are judged. The book begins with a portrait of American society through its individuals—cotton farmers, Appalachian miners, war veterans—and social institutions—fast food, barber shops, car culture. It closes with a survey of factory towns, hand-painted signs, country churches, and simple houses—the sites and relics that constitute the tangible expressions of American desires, despairs, and traditions. Between 1938 and 1941, Evans produced a remarkable series of portraits in the New York City subway. They remained unpublished for twenty-five years, until 1966, when Houghton Mifflin released Many Are Called, a book of eighty-nine photographs, with an introduction by James Agee written in 1940. With a 35mm Contax camera strapped to his chest, its lens peeking out between two buttons of his winter coat, Evans was able to photograph his fellow passengers surreptitiously, and at close range. Although the setting was public, he found that his subjects, unposed and lost in their own thoughts, displayed a constantly shifting medley of moods and expressions—by turns curious, bored, amused, despondent, dreamy, and dyspeptic. “The guard is down and the mask is off,” he remarked. “Even more than in lone bedrooms (where there are mirrors), people’s faces are in naked repose down in the subway.”
Between 1934 and 1965, Evans contributed more than 400 photographs to 45 articles published in Fortune magazine. He worked at the luxe magazine as Special Photographic Editor from 1945 to 1965 and not only conceived of the portfolios, executed the photographs, and designed the page layouts, but also wrote the accompanying texts. His topics were executed with both black-and-white and color materials and included railroad company insignias, common tools, old summer resort hotels, and views of America from the train window. Using the standard journalistic picture-story format, Evans combined his interest in words and pictures and created a multidisciplinary narrative of unusually high quality. Classics of a neglected genre, these self-assigned essays were Evans métier for twenty years.
In 1973, Evans began to work with the innovative Polaroid SX-70 camera and an unlimited supply of film from its manufacturer. The virtues of the camera fit perfectly with his search for a concise yet poetic vision of the world: its instant prints were, for the infirm seventy-year-old photographer, what scissors and cut paper were for the aging Matisse. The unique SX-70 prints are the artist’s last photographs, the culmination of half a century of work in photography. With the new camera, Evans returned to several of his enduring themes—among the most important of which are signs, posters, and their ultimate reduction, the letter forms themselves.
“The secret of photography is, the camera takes on the character and personality of the handler.”
– Walker Evans
Have a Question?
Soul-Searching Across America
Walker Evans’s ‘American Photographs,’ at MoMA
KEN JOHNSON | JULY 18, 2013
In 1938, the Museum of Modern Art mounted its first solo photography exhibition, a display of 100 pictures by Walker Evans (1903-75) bearing the flatly declarative title “American Photographs.” In the show were images of sharecropper families in the South for which Evans is still best known. Among them was “Alabama Cotton Tenant Farmer Wife” (1936), the close-up portrait of a thin-lipped young woman against a background of weathered clapboards, a magnetic, 20th-century Madonna. People from other walks of life were represented as well: the young couple in a sleek convertible car looking quizzically back at the camera; the tall, urbane black man sporting a white suit and straw boater.
As poetically loaded as any of his portraits were his laconic, frontally framed images of rural churches, farmhouses, urban tenements, ornate building facades, main street storefronts, barber shops and factories. The camera in Evans’s hands was more than just a machine for making pictures. It was a device for seeking out the soul of America, and though his subjects have receded into the past, his images still exude a powerfully affecting pathos, an infectious longing for something spiritually real and true.
So it is a fine thing that MoMA is presenting a 75th anniversary reprise of the show with a display of more than 50 prints from the original body of work. Along with it comes a new, fifth edition of the catalog, a volume whose elegantly simple design has made it a classic for photography-book lovers. It includes an extraordinarily perceptive and passionately written essay by Lincoln Kirstein. Together, the show and the book add up to a wonderful time capsule from a dark period in United States history. But they also reverberate now in a time when the idea of America is subject to debates as fractious and far-reaching as at any time since the Civil War.
Organized by Sarah Hermanson Meister, the museum’s research and collections curator, and Drew Sawyer, a curatorial fellow in the photography department, the show is installed in the midst of the fourth-floor permanent collection galleries. There it resonates with mid-20th-century works in adjacent rooms that epitomize American art coming into its own. There are Abstract Expressionist paintings by Pollock and de Kooning on one side; proto-Pop works by Johns and Rauschenberg on another; and Pop Art pieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Rosenquist on a third.
The America Evans was exploring was not the one he came from and lived in. Born into an affluent family, he went to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. and put in a year studying French literature at Williams College before dropping out. He spent another year in Paris in 1926 taking classes at the Sorbonne and learning about modern art. Back in New York, he hung out with a literary crowd that included John Cheever, Hart Crane and Kirstein. He worked as a Wall Street stock clerk, as a photographer for the New Deal’s Farm Security Administration, as a staff writer for Time magazine and, from 1945 to 1965, as an editor at Fortune magazine.
The place evoked by Evans’s photography was a mythic realm, a ghost world. Social justice wasn’t his overriding concern, though many of his images are implicitly political. He was less interested in modern life than in what modernity was leaving in the dust, as in “Joe’s Auto Graveyard, Pennsylvania” (1936), a wide-angle view of dozens of derelict cars in a grassy field. He found heroic dignity in old buildings like “Negro Church, South Carolina” (1936) a small, wood-frame structure with a boxy steeple and a shallow, neo-Classical front porch.
As a photographer, he resisted modernizing trends toward abstraction and new kinds of technical wizardry. He didn’t make a fetish of the fine-art print. His aim was to get out of the way of his subjects, to let them speak for themselves. The things in his pictures seem to have inner lives, like people. As they do in many of Edward Hopper’s paintings, old buildings in Evans’s pictures have an uncanny interiority, as if they were conscious beings. His ostensibly objective style lightly veils feelings of identification with the overlooked, the passed-by and the outcast.
The idea of America was much on the mind of intellectuals when Evans began making photographs in the late 1920s. Alfred Stieglitz called the gallery he opened in 1929 An American Place, and American Scene painting was ascendant. Embracing conservative Regionalism on the one hand and left-leaning Social Realism on the other, that populist movement was largely a reaction to the invasion of American art by European Modernism.
Evans wasn’t an anti-Modernist reactionary. Among his most important inspirations was the French photographer Eugène Atget, whose haunting, documentary photographs of Parisian architecture were admired by European sophisticates. But like many of his contemporaries, Evans was looking for a bedrock foundation for American sensibility.
He was drawn to what the writer Greil Marcus called “The Old, Weird America,” to a vernacular culture untainted by the fancy taste of high society or the predilection for kitsch of masses. He sought the genuine in, as Kirstein put it, “an epoch so crass and so corrupt that the only purity of the ordinary individual is unconscious.”
Maybe Evans also was looking for something real and true in himself, something deeper, older and more solid than the trappings his privileged class and education gave him. For all their just-the-facts plainness, there’s a dreamlike quality to his images, as if they’d floated up from the depths of America’s collective unconscious into his personal creative psyche. That’s one way, at least, to explain what makes them still so mysteriously gripping.
1903 Born in ST. Louis, Missouri. His parents are well-off, puritanical; his father is an advertising director. He spends his youth in Toledo, Chicago, and New York City.
1922 Graduates from the Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Studies literature at Williams College (one year), then takes various jobs in New York City.
1926 Lives in Paris with the intention of becoming a writer; attends literature lectures at the Sorbonne.
1927 Returns to New York. Clerk for a stockbroker firm in Wall Street (until 1929).
1928 First photographs with a small hand-held, roll-film camera.
1929 Begins friendship with Lincoln Kirstein, then still a student at Harvard University but already a key figure in the American cultural scene.
1930 First publication of three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in the poetry book The Bridge by Hart Crane. First photographs of nineteenth century American houses; development of the descriptive style that influences his further work. He sees photographs by Eugene Atget who has a lasting influence on him. Begins work with different cameras up to 6 l/2 x 8 1/ 2 inches, initially with glass-plate negatives.
1931 Photo series of Victorian houses in the Boston vicinity; Lincoln Kirstein initiated the project and accompanied Evans. Shared studio in Greenwich Village with other artists, including the painter and later FSA photographer Ben Shahn (through 1932).
1933 Photographic expedition to Havana during the political unrest in Cuba with the commission to provide illustrations for Carleton Beals's book The Crime of Cuba. Encounter with Ernest Hemingway. Comes to prefer use of an 8 x 10 view camera; continues to work with a 35mm camera.
1935 Photographic expedition to the Southern states. Photographs architecture from the antebellum period, especially plantation houses. First cooperation with The Museum of Modern Art, New York: photographic documentation for the exhibition "African Negro Art"; select photographs are sent out on traveling exhibitions.
1935 In June and July first fixed-term photographic campaign for the Resettlement Administration (RA) to West Virginia and Pennsylvania. From October continuing photographic work for the RA, the later Farm Security Administration (FSA), primarily in the Southern states.
1936 July/August: three-week stay with sharecropper families in Hale County, Alabama, together with James Agee. The commission is from Fortune for a text-photo article on sharecroppers. Agee had requested Evans as photographer. Evans receives a temporary leave from his FSA job under the condition that the photographs become government property. The article (lost) does not meet the magazine's expectations and is rejected. The expanded book version does not appear until:
1941 Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
1937 September: end of his contract with the FSA. From now on activity as independent photographer, partially, up to the summer of 1938, for the FSA.
1938 "Walker Evans: American Photographs," exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the first exhibition in this museum devoted to the work of a single photographer. Catalog with an essay by Lincoln Kirstein. First photographs in the New York subway with a camera hidden in his coat.
1940 Ever more seldom use of a view camera; in its place a 2 1/4 twin-lens reflex camera and a 35mm camera.
1941 Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston after a long search for a publisher. The book meets with a reserved response since the sharecropper problem has been replaced by wartime themes.
1943 Articles for Time magazine (through 1944).
1945 Continuous photo and text contributions to Fortune to 1965.
1948 Exhibition (retrospective) at the Art Institute of Chicago. 1950 Photo series of the American industrial landscape seen as though from the window of a moving train. 1955 Death of his friend James Agee.
1960 New edition of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men with expanded section of photographs. The book experiences a late success in the atmosphere of the 1960 protest movements and the beginning of a cult around James Agee. Through this edition a new generation also discovers Evans's photographs.
Walker Evans: American Photographs, Exhibition of a selection of the photographs from the 1938 retrospective in The Museum of Modern Art, New York, on the occasion of the new edition of the catalog.
1965 Professor of photography on the Faculty for Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art and Architecture.
1966 Many are Called. Publication in book form of his subway photographs.
1971 Walker Evans, exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Catalog with an essay by John Szarkowski.
1975 April 10: Evans dies in New Haven, Connecticut.
- Crane, Hart. The Bridge. Black Sun Press. Paris, France. 1930.
- Beals, Carleton. The Crime of Cuba. J. B. Lippicott. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1933.
- Evans, Walker. American Photographs. Museum of Modern Art. Garden City, New York, 1938.
- Agee, James. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Three Tenant Families. Houghton Mifflin. Boston, Massachusetts, 1941.
- Evans, Walker. Wheaton College Photographs. Wheaton College. Norton, Massachusetts. 1941.
- Bickel, Karl. The Mangrove Coast. Coward-McCann. New York, New York. 1942.
- Radin, Paul and James Johnson Sweeney. African Folktales and Sculpture. Pantheon Books. New York, New York. 1952.
- Evans, Walker. Message from the Interior. Eakins Press. New York, New York, 1966.
- Evans, Walker. Many Are Called. Houghton Mifflin. Boston, Massachusetts. 1966.
- The Gateway States. Time Life Books. New York, New York. 1967.
- Kouwenhoven, John A. Partners in Banking (Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.). Doubleday. New York, New York. 1968.
- Kronenberger, Louis, ed. Quality. Its Image in the Arts. Atheneum. New York, New York. 1969.
- Evans, Walker. Walker Evans. The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York. 1971.
- Maddox, Jerold C. Walker Evans: Photographs for the Farm Security Administration, 1935-1938; A Catalog of Photographic Prints Available from the Farm Security Administration Collection in the Library of Congress. Da Capo Press. New York, New York, 1973.
- Stott, William. Documentary Expression and Thirties America. Oxford University Press. London, United Kingdom. 1973.
- Baier, Leslie K. Walker Evans at Fortune 1945-1965. Wellesley College Museum. Wellesley, Massachusetts. 1977.
- Ferris, Bill. Images of the South: Visits with Eudora Welty and Walker Evans. Southern Folklore Reports, No. 1. Center for Southern Folklore. Memphis, Tennessee. 1977.
- Walker Evans, First and Last. Harper & Row. New York, New York, 1978.
- Trachtenberg, Alan. Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, Illinois. 1979.
- Evans, Walker. Walker Evans. The Aperture History of Photography Series. Aperture. Millerton, New York. 1979.
- Papageorge, Tod. Walker Evans and Robert Frank: An Essay on Influence. Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven, Connecticut. 1981.
- Thompson, Jerry. Walker Evans at Work: 745 Photographs Together with Documents Selected from Letters, Memoranda, Interviews, Notes. Harper & Row. New York, New York, 1982.
- Rosenheim, Jeff and Vincent Todoli. Walker Evans 1928-1974. Ministerio De Cultura, Direccion General De Bellas Artes y Archives. Madrid, Spain. 1983.
- Hagen, Charles. America: The Black Years (FSA). Photo Poche No. 4. Centre National de la Photographie. Paris, France. 1983.
- Ward, Joseph Anthony. American Silences: The Realism of James Agee, Walker Evans, and Edward Hopper. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1985.
- Sufrin, Mark. Focus on America: Profiles of Nine Photographers. Scribner. New York, New York, 1987.
- Travis, David. Walker Evans: Leaving Things as They Are. The Art Institute. Chicago, Illinois. 1987.
- Trachtenberg, Alan. Reading American Photographs: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans. Hill and Wang. New York, New York, 1989.
- Maharidge, Dale and Michael Williamson. And Their Children After Them. Pantheon. New York, New York. 1989.
- Mora, Gilles. Walker Evans: Havana 1933. Pantheon. New York, New York. 1989.
- Mora, Gilles. Walker Evans. Photo Poche No. 45. Centre National de la Photographie. Paris, France. 1990.
- Southall, Thomas W. Walker Evans and William Christenberry: Of Time and Place. The Friends of Photography. San Francisco, California. 1990.
- Brix, Michael and Birgit Mayer. Walker Evans: America, Pictures From the Great Depression. Schirmer Mosel. Munich, Germany. 1990.
- Rosenheim, Jeff. Walker Evans and Jane Ninas in New Orleans, 1935-1936. The Historic New Orleans Collection. New Orleans, Louisiana. 1991.
- Mora, Gilles and John T Hill. Walker Evans: The Hungry Eye. Harry N. Abrams. New York, New York. 1993.
- Keller, Judith. Walker Evans: The Getty Museum Collection. J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, California, 1995.
- Rathbone, Belinda. Walker Evans: A Biography. Houghton Mifflin. Boston, Massachusetts, 1995.
- Thompson, Jerry L. The Last Years of Walker Evans: A First-hand Account. Thames and Hudson. New York, New York, 1997.
- Walker Evans: Signs. J. Paul Getty Trust Publications. Los Angeles, California, 1998.
- Mellow, James R. Walker Evans. Basic Books. New York, New York, 1999.
- Walker Evans: Florida. J. Paul Getty Trust Publications. Los Angeles, California, 2000.
- Rosenheim, Jeff L., ed. Unclassified: A Walker Evans Anthology: Selections from the Walker Evans Archive, Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Scalo in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, New York, 2000.
- Walker Evans: The Lost Work. Arena Editions. Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000.
- Walker Evans: Cuba. J. Paul Getty Trust Publications. Los Angeles, California, 2001.
- Rosenheim, Jeff L. Walker Evans: Polaroids. Scalo Publishers. Berlin, Germany, 2001.
- Many Are Called: Walker Evans. Yale University Press in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New Haven, Connecticut, 2004.
- Mora, Gilles. Walker Evans: The Hungry Eye. Harry N. Abrams. New York, New York, 2004.
- Evans, Walker, John T. Hill, Heinz Liesbrock. Walker Evans: Lyric Documentary. Steidl Publishing. 2006.
- Nau, Thomas. Walker Evans: Photographer of America. Roaring Book Press. New Millford, Connecticut. 2007.
- Storey, Isabelle. Walker's Way: My Years with Walker Evans. PowerHouse Books. Brooklyn, New York. 2007.
1933 "Walker Evans: Photographs of Nineteenth-Century Houses," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York, November 16-December 8, 1933.
1935 "African Negro Art: A Corpus of Photographs by Walker Evans," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York. March 18-May 19, 1935.
1938 "Walker Evans: American Photographs," Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York, September 28-November 18, 1938.
1948 "Walker Evans Retrospective," The Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, November 14-January 4, 1948.
1962 "Walker Evans: American Photographs," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York. June 8-August 14, 1962. Circulated by MOMA 1963-1965, and by the National Gallery of Canada, 1966.
1964 Edwards, Hugh, curator. "Walker Evans," The Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, November 13-January 10, 1965.
1966 Szarkowski, John, curator. "Walker Evans: Subway Photographs," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York, October 5-December 11, 1966.
"Walker Evans," Robert Schoelkopf Gallery. New York, New York. December 16-January 7, 1967.
1970 Mayor, A. Hyatt, curator. "Walker Evans: Paintings and Photographs," The Century Association. New York, New York. February 25-April 5, 1970.
1971 "Walker Evans," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York. January 26-April 11, 1971.
"Walker Evans: Forty Years," Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven, Connecticut. December 9-January 16, 1972.
"Walker Evans: Artist in Residence," Hopkins Centre, Darmouth College. Hanover, New Hampshire. October 26-November 26, 1971.
1974 "Walker Evans: Photographs from the let us now praise famous men project," Michener Galleries, Humanities Research Center, University of Texas. Austin, Texas, March 24-May 5, 1974.
1975 "Walker Evans Memorial," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York. April 14-June 22, 1975.
1976 "America Observed: Etchings by Edward Hopper, Photographs by Walker Evans," Palace of the Legion of Honor, Achenbach Foundation. San Francisco, California. September 4-October 24, 1976.
1977 "Walker Evans: Photographs 1930-1971," Robert Schoelkopf Gallery. New York, New York. March 7-April 2, 1977.
"Walker Evans at Fortune 1945-1965," Wellesley College Museum. Wellesley, Massachusetts. November 16-January 23, 1978.
1978 "Walker Evans: 250 Photographs by Walker Evans," Sidney Janis Gallery. New York, New York, January 6-February 4, 1978.
1981 "Walker Evans," Sarah Lawrence College. Bronxville, New York. September 1981.
1983 "Walker Evans 1928-1974," IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez. Valencia, Spain.
1987 "Walker Evans: Leaving Things as They Are," The Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois. September 12-November 8, 1987.
1990 "Walker Evans: America," Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus München. Munich, Germany. August 15-October 15, 1990.
"Walker Evans: Havana 1933," PhotoFest. Houston, Texas.
Toulouse, France and Coimbra, Portugal.
1991 "Walker Evans: Subway Photographs and Other Recent Acquisitions," National Gallery of Art. Washington, DC, November 24-March 1, 1992.
1993 Gallery 292. New York, New York.
1995 "Walker Evans," Zabriskie Gallery. New York, New York, September 20-October 28, 1995.
1996 "Walker Evans Domestic Exteriors," Laurence Miller Gallery. New York, New York, May 29-June 29, 1996.
1998 "Walker Evans, Simple Secrets: Photographs from the Collection of Marian and Benjamin A. Hill," High Museum of Art. Atlanta, Georgia, March 24-June 14, 1998.
International Center of Photography, New York, New York, September 18-November 29, 1998.
Whitney Museum of Art at Champion, Stamford, Connecticut, December 11-February 24, 1999.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, April 14-June 27, 1999.
"Walker Evans 1971 MOMA Murals," Laurence Miller Gallery. New York, New York, July 15-August 21, 1998.
"Walker Evans: Public Photographs 1935-1937," Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo. Buffalo, New York, March 20-April 24, 1998.
Fleurov, Ellen, curator. "Walker Evans: Simple Secrets," High Museum of Art. Atlanta, Georgia, March 24-June 14, 1998.
International Center of Photography. New York, New York. September 18-November 29, 1998.
Whitney Museum of Art at Champion. Stamford, Connecticut. December 11-February 24, 1999.
Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. April 14-June 27, 1999.
1999 Gallery 292. New York, New York.
2000 "Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art, 1935," The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, New York, February 1–September 3, 2000.
Rosenheim, Jeff L, curator. "Walker Evans," The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, New York, February 1-May 14, 2000.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, June 2-September 12, 2000.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, December 17-March 4, 2001.
"Walker Evans: New York Photographs 1927 to 1963," Museum Folkwang. Essen, Germany. February 6-April 2, 2000.
"Walker Evans: Vintage Photographs," Laurence Miller Gallery. New York, New York. January 10 - February 23, 2000.
2001 Galassi, Peter, curator. "Walker Evans & Company: Works from The Museum of Modern Art," The Museum of Modern Art. New York, New York. July 10 - September 16, 2001.
"The American Tradition & Walker Evans: Photographs from the Getty Collection," Getty Museum. Los Angeles, California. July 10 - October 28, 2001.
2002 "Walker Evans - Polaroids," Die Photographische Sammlung. Cologne, Germany. June 13-August 25, 2002.
Keller, Ulrich, curator. "Walker Evans and James Agee: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions of Pasadena, California. James A. Michener Art Museum. Doylestown, Pennsylvania. July 20-October 13, 2002.
Historic Arkansas Museum. Little Rock, Arkansas. January 22-April 15, 2004.
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas. Austin, Texas. November 2-December 12, 2004.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. Montgomery, Alabama.
Davenport Museum of Art. Davenport, Iowa.
Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Greensburg, Pennsylvania. May 8-July 17, 2005.
The University of Michigan Museum of Art. Ann Arbor, Michigan. October 22–December 18, 2005.
2003 "Walker Evans," The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 10-September 14, 2003.
"Walker Evans," The Photographers' Gallery. London, United Kingdom. May 15-July 12, 2003.
2004 "Walker Evans: African Art," Gallery Luisotti. Santa Monica, California, November 13 - January 8, 2005.
"New Translations and Vintage Prints," Galerie Thomas Zander. Köln, Germany. May 8 - June 26, 2004.
2005 "Walker Evans and James Agee: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," University of Michigan Museum of Art. Ann Arbor, Michigan. October 22 - December 18, 2005.
2006 "Amerika - Kuba," Galerie argus fotokunst. Berlin, Germany. August 23-September 30, 2006.
"Walker Evans," Galleria Carla Sozzani. Milano, Italy. January 15-February 19, 2006.
"Photographs from 1935-1936," MAC. Midlands Arts Centre. Birmingham, United Kingdom. January 14-March 19, 2006.
"Walker Evans: England, 1973," Gardner Arts Centre. Brighton, United Kingdom. October 6 - November 26, 2006.
"Walker Evans," Abersytwyth Arts Centre. Aberystwyth, United Kingdom. October 28 - November 28, 2006.
"England 1973," Gardner Arts Centre. Brighton, United Kingdom. October 5 - November 26, 2006.
"Walker Evans," Galleri RIIS. Oslo, Norway. May 13 - August 20, 2006.
"Walker Evans möter Sune Jonsson," Kulturhuset. Stockholm, Sweden. May 6 - September 3, 2006.
"Walker Evans: Carbon and Silver," organized by the Yale University School of ArtThe UBS Art Gallery. New York, New York. August 24–November 17, 2006.
2007 "Walker Evans," G. Gibson Gallery. Seattle, Washington. January 4-February 10, 2007.
MUSEUM & PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
- Allen Memorial Art Museum. Oberlin, Ohio. USA.
- Birmingham Museum of Art. Birmingham, Alabama. USA.
- Corcoran Gallery of Art. Washington, DC. USA.
- High Museum of Art. Atlanta, Georgia. USA.
- Hofstra University Museum. Hempstead, New York. USA.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, California. USA.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, New York. USA.
- Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. USA.
- Museum of Fine Arts (Houston). Houston, Texas. USA.
- Peabody Essex Museum. Salem, Massachusetts. USA.
- Smith College Museum Of Art. Northampton, Massachusetts. USA.