Walker Evans Essay Research Paper One of

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Walker Evans Essay, Research Paper One of America s greatest and most influential photographers, Walker Evans is credited with creating a vision of life in the 1930 s as Americans would wish to see themselves: dignified and indomitable, even in the face of poverty and despair. He was a documentary photography pioneer whose portraits of the common man have earned him comparison with another American artist, Walt Whitman, Yet Evans might well have died in obscurity if not for a collaboration with the writer James Agee in 1936. The book which resulted form that partnership Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was itself neglected for nearly two decades, and only achieved critical acclaim when it was reprinted in 1960, bringing long overdue recognition for its photographer.

(http://miuraj.tripod.co.jp) Walker Evans the III was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 3, 1903. Mr. Evans was known for saying that his birthdate was on March 3, instead of November 3. He grew up mostly with his father also Walker Evans and his mother Jessie Beach Crane. There are many early photos of the family. They were basically all family outings with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Walker Evans father was an advertising man, and his mother worked in a shop. It was the nature of Walker Evans JR s profession that the family moved quite a bit and the children s education was spread apart. Walker and his sister, Jane attended a kindergarten in Kenilworth, Illinois, a well to do suburb of Chicago. From grade school when Walker was about eight he can recall a pair of

teachers, sisters, that were very sympathetic and good women. He claimed that he had been an apt pupil, until I discovered the choice of being bad and not doing well. But I was na ve. Maybe at the age of eight I was a star pupil because I loved it, and I loved the teacher. But when I lost interest I became a very poor student, Walker admits. (www.nytimes.com/books) It was around the age of fourteen that Walker became interested in photography. I did have a box camera, and I developed film in the bathroom, he said. (www.nytimes.com/books) Walker enjoyed drawing also. During grade school he would draw things such as maps, and was very intense about it. Evans continued to move around. His parents got separated and he moved to New York City with his mother. He then went to a well to

do prep school, called Phillips Andover. His performance there wasn t too good and e barely made it into college from there. Thankfully he was admitted into Williams College in Williamstown in September 1922. Despite the poor showing of his records at Andover, Evans would claim, I started reading at Andover with a real love of reading and then I carried it on so much at Williams that I didn t do much else but read in the library. Judging from his grades at Williams College it may well have been true. Evans recollection, supported by his records, was that he had dropped out of Williams after only on year. It was the end of his education, he stated, although I left in good standing. I don t remember studying anything, but paid a little attention in class. Evans education did mark

the beginning of a lifelong interest in literature, and he said that his first ambition in life was to be a writer. (www.nytimes.com/books) Evans first published photographs were in a 1930 edition of Hart Crane s poem, The Bridge, and in The Crime of Cuba by Carlton Beals. (http://xroads.virginia.edu) Evans has been involved with some books of his own. Walker and a man by the name of James Agee worked on a book together called Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. This was brought about when the two of them were asked to work together on a project for Fortune magazine. They lived together for two months traveling to Hale County, Alabama. The two wrote about and photographed three sharecropper families. (http://miuraj.tripod.co.jp) While on their journey Evans and Agee visited the