American Photographs by Walker Evans
First Edition, First Printing, 1938
Limited to 5000 Copies
This is a first edition, first printing of the classic, “American Photographs” published by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1938 Walker Evans was the first photographer to have a solo exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Published in conjunction with that landmark show, the 87 images presented here revolutionized photography's documentary role, and the book's very design reconfigured the photo-essay into "a complex, elliptical, hugely ambitious work." From its opening sequence of a photographer's shop, American Photographs "declares itself not just a book about the world, but about photography. It constitutes a document of 1930s America so persuasive that John Szarkowski has remarked: 'It is difficult to know now with certainty whether Walker Evans recorded the America of his youth, or invented it'" (Parr & Badger I: 114). “American Photographs” established Walker Evans as a major artist. Commenting on the book in her newspaper column, Eleanor Roosevelt said “It shows us contemporary America, and I think all of us who care about our country will be deeply interested in this record”. (Andrew Roth, The Book of 101 Books, Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century).
The book measures 9” x 7” and is bound in black cloth over boards with the title on a paper label affixed to the head of the spine and a photographically illustrated dust jacket (lacking the errata slip). The condition of the book is FINE- with very minor soiling to the first free endpaper and edges. The dust jacket is in Near FINE- condition with browning to the spine and edges and two very small chips and a small tear to the flap. Overall, this is a very collectible copy of a landmark book that is rarely found in this condition.
Photographs of the dust jacket front, back, and overall view, the book, as well as examples of photographs contained in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.