Between 1938 and 1941 Evans photographed passengers in the New York City Subway with a camera cleverly hidden inside his coat. With the focus and exposure of his 35mm Contax predetermined, Evans was completely free to attend to the transient expressions and conduct of his fellow passengers. When the right moment arrived, Evans quickly squeezed the cable release he had snaked from the camera down his sleeve to his hand. Evans published 89 photographs from the series in Many Are Called, his 1966 monograph on passengers in the subway, introduced by his friend James Agee.
About the time of the subway series, Evans wrote: "...these anonymous people who come and go in the cities and who move on the land; it is on what they look like now; what is in their faces and in the windows and the streets beside and around them, what they are wearing and what they are riding in, and how they are gesturing that we need to concentrate, consciously, with the camera."
Inscription: incomplete record
Walker Evans; Arnold H. Crane, c. 1969
Museum Folkwang. "The Truth of the Real: Edward Hopper and Photography," June 28, 1992–September 20, 1992.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Few Are Chosen: Street Photography and the Book, 1936-1966," November 5, 2004–March 6, 2005.
Evans, Walker. Many Are Called. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966. no. 1.
Hopper, Edward. The Truth of the Real: Edward Hopper and Photography, edited by Georg W. Koltzsch, and Heinz Liesbrock. Essen: Museum Folkwang, 1992.
Keller, Judith. Walker Evans: The Getty Museum Collection. Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995. no. 591.
Negative date: 1938 or 1941 Hinged to mat with 1971.646.21