Renelio Marin

Developing Leaders Through Graduate Education

New York University


Studio Art


Katy Siegel, Ph.D.

Walker Evans and the Photographic Document/Object of Aesthetic Contemplation

Walker Evans was born to puritanical parent in St. Louis, Missouri in 1903. Evans career as a photographer, initiated in 1928, captures the first half of the 20th century and beyond. His oeuvre made for most part at a time of great political and social turmoil –the Great Depression years; the Second World War; the Viet-Nam War- express universal values of endurance in the face of hardships. Depiction of American daily life, and scenes- such as colonial architecture, everyday farming life, the world of poster advertising, subway portrait series and the urban environment give its audience the opportunity to explore vernacular American culture. By transcending the informative and documentary values of photography, Evans gives us an oeuvre where scenes of everyday life become symbols of resilience and permanency. From painting to photography, Pop Art to Richard Prince, the work of Walter Evans has influenced generations of American and European artists. Made for the most part during the first half of the 20th century, Walker Evans’ work could not be more contemporaneous and alive.