Walker Evans Simple Secrets: Photographs from the Collection of Marian and Benjamin A. Hill

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9780810963627: Walker Evans Simple Secrets: Photographs from the Collection of Marian and Benjamin A. Hill

The photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975) was first noted for his portrayal of the US South during the Depression era in the book "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men", and for an exhibition entitled "American Photographs" at the Museum of Modern Art. He created intimate, personal records of American life for five decades. One of the finest collections of Evans's work in private hands is that of Marian and Benjamin A. Hill of Atlanta, and their collection of 132 original prints was acquired in part directly from Evans himself. Around 88 of these, including two Polaroids and variant views of some of Evans's best-known photographs, are reproduced in this book (published to accompany an exhibition in Atlanta, New York and Detroit) and discussed in an accompanying essay.

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From Library Journal:

These two books honoring the great American photographer Walker Evans differ in reproduction value and selection. Signs would be slight and disappointing without the excellent text by Romanian poet and National Public Radio commentator Codrescu. The unifying idea for this book?photos that represent Evans's lifelong affection for signs?feels original and yet ultimately limiting as you flip through marvelous black-and-white images like "Roadside Stand Near Birmingham" (1936) and "What, No Garters?" (1946). Visually, the idea probably works more powerfully within the confines of the J. Paul Getty Museum exhibition. Considered purely as a kind of slide show for Codrescu's text, however, the photographs work ably. While it also contains many old favorites, Simple Secrets doesn't limit inclusion by theme. The catalog of a traveling exhibition launched by Atlanta's High Museum of Art, it has plenty of signage but includes much of the rest of the world Evans rendered so memorably. Well-known pictures seem somehow more surprising here. These photos are from the magnificent Hill Collection, which spans five decades of Evans's work, starting with his shadow self-portrait from 1927. The reproductions and layout are superior to that of Signs, and Walker's subway faces, blind musicians, and old men on porches have rarely looked better. Thirteen of the Hill Collection's photographs have never been published. Recommended for all photography collections.?Nathan Ward, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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