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Walker Evans: Decade by Decade Hardcover – April 30, 2010


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Walker Evans's reputation was initially established by his Depression-era collaboration with James Agee on Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. That tribute to Southern sharecropper families, as well as Evans's work for the Farm Security Administration, had a profound influence on later artists. However, from the 1940s through the 1960s his celebrity underwent a long dry spell during a commercial association with Fortune magazine, and it was only after the Evans partisan John Szarkowski succeeded Edward Steichen at the photography department of New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1961 that he was rehabilitated among the artistic cognoscenti. His 1930s and post-1960 photos remain those for which he is best known. In his latest book, Crump (Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980) addresses Evans's entire oeuvre, making a decisive case that a cohesive visual unity runs throughout. Many of the 216 photos featured here were taken from the Fortune archive, others from earlier series (such as a 1933 trip to Cuba); all enliven the pages. Crump opens the monograph with an engrossing biographical account of the Evans-Szarkowski association, propelling his central point of Evans's qualitative consistency. VERDICT: The best book on Evans in years, this will appeal to photography pundits. --Douglas F. Smith, Library Journal, August 2010
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hatje Cantz (April 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3775724915
  • ISBN-13: 978-3775724913
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 10 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Worswick on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Walker Evans: Decade by Decade, Winner of one of the ten best books of the year, 2010.

During a career that lasted 46 years Walker Evans is best known for his work during a brief six year period the period 1935-1941. What has been neglected in Evans career are the other 40 years of his photographic work. In only a few instances - from a bibliography of over 2,000 published Evans sources - has this unseen work been taken up in any book and in any detail. From my own point of view as a photographic historian and collector of Evans pictures, the work Walker Evans did in 1928 is as fresh and tight as the last black and white pictures he made in 1973, at the moment Evans gave up making gelatin bromide prints.

In a career that virtually invented the field of the American vernacular Walker Evans career branched out from creating photographs of the antique vernacular, to a fascination with making pictures of the emerging modern American vernacular.

For 40 years Walker Evans photographed the modern vernacular America. Very few people have yet caught up with what this work is, nor have not yet caught up with the photographs contained in this book. The acceptance of Walker Evans artistic evolution is still a work in progress for many of the leading curators in America.

In a prescient essay - that took years of research - the writer/curator James Crump takes up the complex and layered relationship between the Museum of Modern Art Curator, John Szarkowski and Walker Evans. In the future of American photography it was these two men - working together and seperately in ground breaking exhibitions - which would redefine American photography.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark L. Melcher on January 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Walker Evans would feel right at home in the world of instagram and the plethora of meaningless photographs clogging social media. This book, despite all the overbearing superlatives only shows Evans as lacking even mediocrity in photography. It boggles the mind that so many have been so taken by an obvious hack. It also reveals, perhaps unwittingly, what a good-ole-boy system MoMA, other art museums, and the world of collectors are. That these artless photographs actually make it onto the walls of such institutions is a shame ... best give the space to someone who knows something about the craft. As near as I can tell, Evans did not in his later years print his own photographs but left that to an assistant. All the better since he had no idea what he was doing in the first place.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marco Paoluzzo on September 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a little bit disappointed by this book. Of course, there are a lot of unpublished pictures in it, but nothing very interesting. The printing is also very strange. It is printed in colour and everypage has another colour, like yellow, green (like the cover) or even red. It is a book for historians, wanting to know everything about Walker Evans. For me, it is just another book and unfortunately the less interesting from W.E. in my bookshelves.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ron Greer on September 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big Walker Evans fan but the printing quality of this book is quite poor; Mr Evans' work deserves better.
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