Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Penny Picture Display, Savannah

Artist:
Walker Evans (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1903–1975 New Haven, Connecticut)
Date:
1936
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
24.7 x 19.3 cm (9 3/4 x 7 5/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.482
Not on view
This picture is a composite portrait of a slice of society. It represents the window display of an anonymous portrait photographer in the South during the Depression. He was evidently not much of an artist but was good at pinching pennies, eager for business, and proud of his trade. On each of his large negatives he managed to make fifteen individual portraits. He thought most exposures good enough to use in this advertising display but covered his occasional failures with more successful images cut from other contact sheets.
Inscription: Inscribed in blue ink on print, verso, top left: "Photograph By // Walker Evans"; top left: "[line UL to UR] Return to // Arthur Siegel // 2025 Mohawk // Chicago Ill"; top right: "Photographers Window // Birmingham, Ala."; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, center: "Ra 8097-A"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, center: "33 wide [encircled]"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, bottom center [sideways]: "Photographer's window // of penny portraits, // Birmingham, // Ala."; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, bottom center: "#5897 [underlined] // AMERICAN PHOTO MAG."; bottom right: "WEV.207.X"; stamped in ink on print, verso, bottom right [sideways]: "Kindly use the following credit line: // RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION PHOTOGRAPH BY EVANS"
John C. Waddell, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard," February 3, 2009–May 24, 2009.

See also: Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Farm Security Administration (FSA) # 8c52402
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