NYC: Street Scene, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1936

25 06 2009

Street Scene, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1936

 

We’ve already discovered that even the New York City has great tastes of Southern art from time to time. When I was visiting the many treasures of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, we had the pleasure of viewing a collection works from the photographer, Walker Evans.

 Evans was originally from Missouri, but traveled around the South in the 1930’s, taking pictures of scenes such as roadsides, cafes, advertisements, buildings and rooms, and small-town main streets.

 This barber shop may have been a small detail in street life, but a focal point of the social community, perhaps only following the church. As the barbers await a doubtless busy day, they enjoy the early morning Southern sun.

 Most of you will be familiar with this famous work, of Allie Mae Burroughs, which has come to be known as a symbol of the Great Depression.

 Evans knew Ernest Hemingway in his days spent in Cuba. Some of these photos were available recently at the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, Florida. His clarity, point of view, and emotion are stunning.

 Evans was also a passionate reader and writer, even writing for Time magazine in the 1940’s.

 And this isn’t the first time Evans’ work has been featured at the Met. In 1938, it was the first collection to be featured comprised entirely of photographs from a single photographer. In 1994, all his works were left to the Met, and can be viewed at the Library of Congress.

 I’d encourage all Southerners to take a moment to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of the wonderful artist’s work.

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