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Kitchen Wall, Alabama Farmstead

1936, printed 1974 Walker Evans Born: St. Louis, Missouri 1903 Died: New Haven, Connecticut 1975 Double Elephant Press (Publisher) Richard Benson (Printer) John Deeks (Printer) gelatin silver print sheet and image: 9 3/8 x 12 in. (23.9 x 30.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Lee and Maria Friedlander 2006.13.1.8 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

During the summer of 1936, Walker Evans joined writer James Agee in rural Alabama to work on a magazine assignment on cotton farming. Evans and Agee met with three tenant farm families and documented details of their experiences. The result, which the magazine declined to publish, was released as the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men in 1941. It contains some of the most iconic and contentious photographs to document the Great Depression.
Kitchen Wall, Alabama Farmstead reads like a modern novel. Every crack in the wood, every speck of paint tells part of the story. Evans drew special attention to the scarcity of cooking tools at the family’s disposal. These everyday utensils provide a metaphor for the struggle to meet basic needs.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013

Keywords

Architecture Interior - domestic - kitchen

Architecture - farm

Landscape - Alabama

photography - photoprint

paper - kodak polycontrast

gelatin silver

About Walker Evans

Born: St. Louis, Missouri 1903 Died: New Haven, Connecticut 1975

About Double Elephant Press

About Richard Benson

Born: Newport, Rhode Island 1943

About John Deeks

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Walker Evans

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John Deeks