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Subway Portrait

1938–41
(American, 1903–1975)
Image: 12.3 x 18.2 cm (4 13/16 x 7 3/16 in.); Matted: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.)
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This artwork is known to be under copyright.
Location: not on view

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Description

For four years, Walker Evans secretly photographed passengers on New York City subways with a camera hidden in his jacket. Since he could not look through the viewfinder and the subjects did not know they were being photographed, these images are neutral portraits without preening or prejudice, experiments in chance and intuition. “The guard is down and the mask is off. . . . People’s faces are in naked repose down in the subway,” Evans wrote. “You don’t see among them the face of a judge or a senator or a bank president. What you do see is at once sobering, startling, and obvious: these are the ladies and gentlemen of the jury.”
Subway Portrait

Subway Portrait

1938–41

Walker Evans

(American, 1903–1975)
America, 20th century

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