February 15, 2012 6:09pm
Walker Evans, the famous American photographer, was the first to have a solo exhibition dedicated to photography. In both the exhibition and its accompanying publication, Evans controlled the sequencing of the images and their attendant captions. Captions were restricted to just generic place names, dates, and titles to allow the image to enjoy prominence. The aim of the exhibition was to show the impact of the automobile and of industrialisation on the built environment over the passing of time in 1920’s America. Evans had been able to procure such images by firstly, never forgetting his camera cable, and secondly, by being Roy Stryker’s photographer for the Farm Security Administration.
The Farm Security Administration had conducted a New Deal programme which sought to produce a visual account of the wretched poverty experienced by the rural poor and other visible signs of the Great Depression which was wracking the United Stated of America at the time. Weston, a photographer who was opposed to theoretical explanations of photography, published multiple volumes of his work throughout his lifetime.