The J. Paul Getty Museum

Subway Portrait

Object Details

Title:

Subway Portrait

Artist/Maker:

Walker Evans (American, 1903 - 1975)

Culture:

American

Date:

1938 - 1941

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Object Number:

84.XM.956.748

Dimensions:

10.3 × 7.9 cm (4 1/16 × 3 1/8 in.)

Copyright:

© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Object Description

For the purposes of Walker Evans's continuing quest to obtain anonymous portraits, the subway was the place "where the people of the city range themselves at all hours under the most constant conditions." In order to remain inconspicuous, Evans used a hidden camera: a small, fast Contax that he painted flat black, strapped to his chest, and operated with a long wire strung down his right sleeve. In 1966 he published the images with James Agee's introduction as the book Many Are Called.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Walker Evans: New York (July 28, 1998 to April 2, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 28 to October 11, 1998
  • Museum Folkwang (Essen), February 6 to April 2, 2000