The J. Paul Getty Museum

Havana Citizen / Citizen in Downtown Havana

Object Details

Title:

Havana Citizen / Citizen in Downtown Havana

Artist/Maker:

Walker Evans (American, 1903 - 1975)

Culture:

American

Date:

1933

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Object Number:

84.XM.956.484

Dimensions:

22.2 × 11.7 cm (8 3/4 × 4 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

Except for certain morning shopping hours, Havana is still a largely male city. The tide of pedestrians along narrow Obispo Street, with its cavernous cool dark stores, or under the Prado portals, wall-papered with magazines and multicolored lottery tickets, the idlers in the open air cafes--nearly all are men in white linen, now and then a bright tie under a dark chin shaded by a straw hat tilted effectively.

Walker Evans's photograph is the exact embodiment of writer Carleton Beals's description of Havana in his book Crimes of Cuba. Tall, dark, and handsome in a crisp white linen suit and straw boater, this "Havana Citizen" standing down by the newsstand filled with glamorous movie magazines casts a wary glance at a subject just out of camera range. Although Evans contributed photographs he made in Cuba to Beals's book, this evocative image did not appear in the publication.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now (May 17 to October 2, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 17 to October 2, 2011
Bibliography