Walker Evans was interested in anonymous street portraiture all his life. He recognized that the camera, used properly, could reveal the very values of a society in the people's conscious and unconscious adornments, in their displays and expressions, in their gait and glance, and in their furnishings and entertainments. The photographs of street types reveal Evans' incipient use of the documentary style, a clear counterpoint to the more stylized and graphic architectural photographs he was producing concurrently at the beginning of his fifty-year career with the camera.
Inscription: Photographer's stamp on mount, verso LC on slant: "WALKER EVANS // WALKER EVANS [illegible]"; inscribed in ink on mount, recto LL, LR, below print: "Part One // #41", "Couple at Coney Island, N.Y. // 1928"; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto LC: "99 [?]"; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto LR: "41"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso LC: "H24 /6-28 [undelined] // 86 // No [in box] 150h"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso LR: "41"
[Prakapas Gallery to Waddell, March 29, 1984]; John C. Waddell
Hartford, Conn. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. "Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008," January 31–May 31, 2015.
San Diego Museum of Art. "Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008," July 11–October 13, 2015.
Evans, Walker. American Photographs. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1938. no. 41.
Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. p. 47.
Hambourg, Maria Morris, Doug Eklund, Mia Fineman, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. Walker Evans. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. no. 17.
From Condition: 1.8 cm. tear on paper mount, recto LR; 3 holes on mount, recto UL to LL; paper loss on mount, recto LR, UR; surface dirt on mount overall. The page on which the photograph was mounted is the notebook page with 3 ring holes used by Evans and MoMA to produce the catalog American Photographs. Most of the remaining, similarly mounted 86 photographs are in the collection of the Getty Museum, acquired from Arnold Crane.