Walker Evans: The Getty Museum Collection

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9780892363179: Walker Evans: The Getty Museum Collection

The J. Paul Getty Museum holds nearly 1,200 prints by master photographer Walker Evans, spanning four decades of his professional life. Many of them have never before been published. This catalogue brings together all of the museum's material on Evans. Included are images both familiar, such as his photographs of tenant farmers in the 1930s, and unfamiliar, such as those he made in Florida in the 1940s and his late Polaroid studies from the 1970s. Keller's lively text provides essential background on the major phases of Evans's artistic development, and a wealth of biographical and bibliographical information. Altogether, this book immediately becomes one of the essential studies of this American master's long and influential career.

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From Library Journal:

Walker Evans (1903-75), whose career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the early 1970s, was arguably the most influential 20th-century American photographer. He was accomplished technically as well-he used 21 different cameras and continued printing his own work until late in his career. This catalog of the Getty's collection of Evans's work is the most complete, most scholarly, and most useful to date, reproducing nearly 1200 images (though most are shown here in small formats, making it difficult to enjoy the high-quality reproductions). Keller, the associate curator of photographs at the Getty, spent years compiling information about Evans's life and oeuvre, working from dozens of previously published studies. She has documented, in the most exacting way, provenance, alternate croppings, signature stamps, previous publication of the images, and other identifying details about every Evans photograph in the Getty's collection, which is made up of images acquired from several major collectors, including George Rinhart, who acquired the contents of Evans's studio at the time of his death. Prints are arranged chronologically in ten chapters, each beginning with an insightful essay that examines the context and influences of the period. Photographs are reproduced from dozens of projects: from his most famous portraits of Depression-era farm families published in his collaboration with James Agee for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men to photo essays for Fortune magazine. Every library with collections on the history of photography or contemporary photography should acquire this book; it cannot be recommended too highly.
Kathleen Collins, New York Transit Museum Archives, Brooklyn
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Even readers who know photographer Walker Evans's work will find much new in this catalogue of the Getty Museum's complete Evans collection in Malibu, Calif. Containing 1054 duotone and 31 color illustrations, the book includes familiar pictures such as those of Alabama tenant farmers made in the 1920s, as well as much that is unfamiliar; e.g., his images of trailers, wildlife, road scenes, tourists and the circus from Florida's west coast in the early 1940s, or the carefully composed Polaroid studies made shortly before his death at age 71 in 1975. Also included are teeming pictures of Cuba taken in 1933, his documentary studies of African tribal art and the Deep South in the 1940s. In her thoughtful accompanying essay, Getty associate curator Keller follows the continuity of Evans's major motifs-signs, "found" objects, anonymous portraits, local architecture-from his earliest New York City street scenes of the late 1920s throughout his career, making this an invaluable resource for devotees of Evans.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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