Hunter Museum of American Art

Chattanooga, TN

(423) 267-0968



Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Photographs by Walker Evans

December 5, 1998 - January 10, 1999


In 1941 photographer Walker Evans and writer James Agee created a book titledLet Us Now Praise Famous Men. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Photographs by Walker Evans offers a selection of these photographs drawn the collection of the Knoxville Museum of Art.

This exhibition is designed to coincide with the exhibition William Christenberry: The Early Years, 1954-1968 because this book had a profound effect on the young Christenberry. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, first discovered by the artist when it was re-issued in 1960, served as a major influence upon his early artistic development for it chronicled the area where Christenberry grew up: Hale County, Alabama. This can be seen especially in his Tenant House series of paintings and photographs on view in the Christenberry show.

Walker Evans (1903 - 1975) first began publishing photographs in the early 1930s, which were distinguished by their straightforward, documentary style. He is best known for his work in the mid-1930s when he worked for the Farm Security Administration. He worked on the staff of Time and Fortune magazines and in 1965 became a professor emeritus at Yale University. According to American art historian Matthew Baigell, "The uncompromising directness with which he looked at the life of American initiated an important tradition, the 'social landscape' [in the field of American photography]..."

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 8/24/10

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