Widgets Magazine

Iconic Great Depression photo series comes to Cantor

More than 125 prints of the works by Great Depression photographer Walker Evans went on display Wednesday at the Cantor Arts Museum. The collection, meant to juxtapose the struggles of the Depression era with the economic struggles of the present day, will remain on display until April 8, according to a University press release.


Evans, who passed away in 1975 at the age of 71, resented developing social programs of the era. According to English professor Gavin Jones in the press release, the purpose of Evans’ art is, “respecting the moral integrity of the poor while recognizing in these tenants something transcendentally human.”


Jones will host a free book discussion on Feb. 25, as part of the exhibit. His book titled, “American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature,” which examines the works of Evans and others in the era, will be the subject of the event.


The display, entitled, “Walker Evans,” also holds the work of James Agee, a Depression-era author who worked and traveled with Evans while reporting for Fortune magazine. Agee’s writing helps enlighten Evans’ photographs and provides context, according to the press release.


Agee “sees the poor as beautiful but does not believe they are capable of recognizing their own beauty,” Jones said in the release. “Sometimes it seems that he finds them beautiful not despite but <I>because<P> they cannot appreciate their own value.”


The display also features an online photography series, Walker Evans of the Week.


–Matt Bettonville