JF Ptak Science Books Post 1892
The photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975) was an ultra-light and lyrical traveler, who didn't leave a footprint in the country he moved through, though the impact of his work--the result of the travel--fastened a famously indelible image on American history--indelible, and fast, being recognized for his work with a commanding exhibition at the new Museum of Modern Art in 1938.
Evans possessed a crystaline lens which yielded both spectacular detail and subtle quietnesses. He could turn a tenement farmer's rough-hewn wooden kitchen drawer filled with roustabout cutlery into a photographic masterpiece, and then photograph the face of that farmer or that farmer's family and have it stand as an absolute testimonal to the expereince of the Great Depression in the American life. Evans made some of the core memories of that visual experience. He (along with some of the greatest photographers America has produced) worked for the government for a time during the Depression, answering to Roy Stryker at the Resettlement Administration and the Farm Security Administration, with the mission of taking photographs of America--which he did, establishing himself as one of the early and preeminent masters of documentary photography.
I was thinking of him earlier today, adn thought that I'm make a selection Walker's photographs from the magnificent collection of Farm Security Administration images at the Library of Congress. (Also, see the Museum of Modern Art for a nice appraisal, here).
Shoeshine stand detail, Southeastern U.S. 1936