The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2014
Not on view
Sekaer became interested in photography in the early 1930s while enrolled at the New York Art Student’s League. He studied with Berenice Abbott and met Walker Evans through their mutual friend the painter and photographer Ben Shahn. In 1936 Sekaer accompanied Evans on a tour of the American South for the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency. Of his photographs from this period, Sekaer wrote, “It is self-evident that they are honest pictures of real people and their lives,—more than casual ‘candid’ shots,—more than mere newsreel views. . . . A vital relation to contemporary life such as one feels in these pictures has always been an essential factor of any great art expression.” Here barbers pose behind their chairs and acknowledge Sekaer’s camera. The photograph offers a glimpse into a business that played a central role in community life for African American men living in the segregated South.
Inscription: Inscribed in black ink on mount, verso TL: "34. a negro barbershop in Atlanta Ga // ċ [with] sign "no cursing allowed""; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso BR: "See W. Evans 170 // same shop"; additional dealer inventory numbers
Peter Sekaer, by descent to Christina Sekaer; [Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 65".
Sekaer, Peter. Peter Sekaer: American Pictures. Andover: Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, 1999. p. 11.