Walker EVANS

United States of America 1903 – 1975

(Subway portraits) (1938-41) Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 12.3 h x 18.7 w cm sheet 20.1 h x 25.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.4265
  • The guard is down and the mask is off, even more than when in lone bedrooms (where there are mirrors). People’s faces are in naked repose down in the subway.  Walker Evans

    Day after day Evans would sit in the same bench seat of the same carriage of the same train.To the subjects, he would have looked like any other passengerhis camera, a 35mm Contax with the bright chrome surface painted black, was hidden beneath his waistcoat.When ready, he would activate the camera by way of a shutter release device concealed in his sleeve.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra