Artist: Walker Evans (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1903–1975 New Haven, Connecticut)
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: Image: 7 11/16 × 6 5/16 in. (19.5 × 16.1 cm)
Mount: 7 11/16 × 6 5/16 in. (19.5 × 16.1 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1988
Accession Number: 1988.1030
Rights and Reproduction: © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the summer of 1936 Walker Evans collaborated with writer James Agee on an unpublished article about cotton farmers in the American South, which eventually became the seminal book "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" (1941). For four weeks in July, Evans made photographs of three sharecropper families and their environment—intimate, respectful portraits of the farmers, as well as their homes, furniture, clothing, and rented land. This study of a clean-swept corner is the twelfth plate in the book; it recalls Agee's observations of the significance of "bareness and space" in these homes: "general odds and ends are set very plainly and squarely discrete from one another. . . [giving] each object a full strength it would not otherwise have."