woensdag 18 februari 2009

Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard Photography

Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard ...
February 3, 2009–May 25, 2009
The Howard Gilman Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Past Saturday I went to the Met Museum with my husband to check out a couple of photography exhibitions and Walker Evans was one of it.

I always wondered about Walker Evans’s frontal and formal style of photography. After seeing the exhibition at the Met, I was persuaded by the curator’s arguement. Walker Evans collected many things through his life including picture postcard. He was influenced by the aesthetic of picture postcard. The exhibition displays one of postcards with Evans’s picture on top of each other. It is amazing how much Evans’s photo looks like the postcard in terms of vantage point and composition. The curator’s assumption is that Evans took the photo without seeing the picture postcard.

Unknown artist
Front Street, Looking North, Morgan City, LA, 1929

Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975)
[Street Scene, Morgan City, Louisiana], 1935

Besides displaying hundreds of postcards, they exhibition displays a dozen of Evans’s photographs that were printed on postcard format photographic paper in 1936.

Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975)
View of Ossining, New York, 1930–31

On the wall text by collections of his objects, it says that Evans collected a lot of things (street signs, tin can tab, etc) and he rarely throw away anything. The Metropolitan Museum’s Walker Evans archive has 9000 picture postcards collected by Walker Evans. He even had organization system for catagorization. He also published his postcard collection and wrote about it twice.
The exhibition at the Met gives more understanding about Walker Evans and it was worth going.

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