Atlanta Life and Culture

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Walker Evans photo exhibit arrives at High in June

Walker Evans, a literate New Yorker known for his Depression-era photographs of hard-bitten characters in the American South, is coming South again.

One of the greatest documentary photographers of the 20th century, Evans will be celebrated this summer with a touring retrospective of his 50-year career, a show that will only come to only one venue in the United States:  the High Museum.

"Walker Evans: Depth of Field" will feature more than 120 black-and-white and color prints from the 1920s through the 1970s, including nine photographs from the Museum’s permanent collection.

The exhibit is the most comprehensive to be mounted in the Southeast, and has been co-organized by the High, the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, of Bottrop, Germany and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Following its presentation in Germany, the exhibit will travel to the High from June 11 through Sept. 25, before moving to Vancouver where it will show through the new year.

Born in Missouri and raised in Toledo and New York City, Evans spent time studying in Paris, and was influenced by French literature and European photographers. The exhibit aims to trace those "transatlantic" roots.

Evans is well known for his photographs that accompanied the reportage of James Agee in the book "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men."

“Evans is a pivotal 20th-century artist whose contributions have deeply affected the development of photography around the world and shaped the way we remember the history of the South,” said Brett Abbott, Keough Family curator of photography at the High, in a statement.

Abbott said the High is the repository of a significant share of the South's photographic patrimony, including leading holdings of Evans’ protégés William Christenberry and Peter Sekaer.







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Bo Emerson is an Atlanta native and a long-time AJC feature and news writer.