The J. Paul Getty Museum

Penny Picture Display, Savannah / Photographer's Window Display, Birmingham, Alabama / Studio Portraits, Birmingham, Alabama

Object Details

Title:

Penny Picture Display, Savannah / Photographer's Window Display, Birmingham, Alabama / Studio Portraits, Birmingham, Alabama

Artist/Maker:

Walker Evans (American, 1903 - 1975)

Culture:

American

Date:

1936

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Object Number:

84.XM.956.477

Dimensions:

25.6 × 19.9 cm (10 1/16 × 7 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

The only reason this photograph has any value is, an instinct is touched in it. . . . It's uproariously funny, and very touching and very sad and very human. Documentary, very real, very complex. All these people had posed in front of the local studio camera, and I bring my camera, and they all pose again together for me. That's a fabulous fact.

Walker Evans was in the South a number of times during the 1930s. While in Savannah, he photographed this photo-studio shop front. Storefronts remained a consistent theme in Evans's work, but this image spoke to him in a particularly poignant way. Young women, servicemen, professionals, couples, children, sisters, and a father and his daughter fill the window, all tightly arranged. These were the subjects Evans sought: not celebrities in highly decorated studios but everyday people.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
"...images that yet/ Fresh images beget...": Photographing Art (September 15 to November 15, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), September 15 to November 15, 1987
Neither Speech nor Language: Photography and the Written Word (February 28 to May 12, 1991)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), February 28 to May 12, 1991
The American Tradition and Walker Evans (July 10 to October 28, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 10 to October 28, 2001
Photograph America (September 8 to December 20, 2008)
  • Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (Paris), September 8 to December 20, 2008
At the Window: The Photographer's View (October 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014
Convergences: Selected Photographs from the Permanent Collection (July 8 to October 19, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 8 to October 19, 2014
Bibliography
Bibliography

The American Tradition & Walker Evans: Photographs from the Getty Collection, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum), fig. 6.

Lifson, Ben. "...images that yet/ Fresh images beget...", exh. brochure (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum 1987), fig. 4.