European & American Art
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Walker EVANS

United States of America 1903 – 1975

Sharecropper's family, Hale County, Alabama 1936 Place made: United States of America
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 19.1 h x 24.1 w cm sheet 20.2 h x 25.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.4259
  • Evans travelled to America’s South in 1936 with the writer James Agee, in preparation for an article on the plight of Southern sharecroppers for Fortune magazine. The article was never published; Agee’s text and a selection of Evans’s photographs were published in the book Let us now praise famous men (1941). Evans’s photographs elaborated his notion of ‘documentary style’: a way of framing pictures which indicated impartiality and disinterest on the part of the photographer. The frontality and ‘squareness’ of Evans’s pictures were intended to frame the photograph as an ‘objective’ record, one that reflected what Agee termed the ‘cruel radiance’ of the subject.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra