he Art Museum of WVU is the first venue on a national tour of an installation that
celebrates photographer Walker Evans’s landmark solo exhibition at New York’s
Museum of Modern Art in 1938.
A leading figure in the history of American documentary photography, Walker Evans is today considered one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.
In the 1930s, Evans traveled extensively throughout the Eastern United States, creating a collective photographic portrait of the region during a decade of profound transformation—one that coincided with the flood of everyday images, both still and moving, from an expanding mass culture and the construction of a Modernist history of photography. Evans visited West Virginia during this period, documenting Morgantown and the nearby mining community of Scotts Run at the height of the Great Depression.
Included in this reimagined exhibition are 60 photographs organized in two sections, as in the original: the first portrays American society through images of its individuals and social contexts, while the second consists of photographs of American cultural artifacts—the architecture of Main streets, factory towns, rural churches, and wooden houses.
Walker Evans American Photographs is based on an exhibition originally organized by Sarah Hermanson Meister, Curator, with Tasha Lutek, Collection Specialist, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Support provided by Art Bridges.
IMAGE: Walker Evans (1903–1975); Interior Detail, West Virginia Coal Miner's House ; 1935; Courtesy of the Library of Congress.