Week 5 Discussion Topic: Walker Evans’ Subway Portraits

Walker Evans’ photographed people on the New York City subways between 1938-1941. He only published these photographs 25 years later in his book, Many Are Called, which was re-issued in 2004. Read a review about the new edition in the New York Times or listen to a radio interview of the book’s re-release and a related exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then look at some of Evans photographs on the Getty website. What do you think of Evans’ clandestine approach to photography? Do you see similarities between the riders’ expressions during the Depression Era to today’s riders?

Walker Evans, Subway Couple

Walker Evans, Subway Couple

New York Times Book review

NPR interview with Met curator Jeff Rosenheim (audio)

Getty Collection of Walker Evans Subway Portraits

Please post your responses by Wednesday, October 20th.

1 thought on “Week 5 Discussion Topic: Walker Evans’ Subway Portraits

  1. This is very interesting in many ways. one way is on how he was able to capture these people during a tough time and some what tell a story around the picture and in a setting that was perfect in my opinion the subway. The Getty collection picture were just amazing you got a little of everyone during this era, those who seem to be more affected that other for instant there were some folks reading the newspaper dress all nicely and going a lot their day it seen while other had a frowned on their faces. And finally the decision of using black and white film does it for me just amazing

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