Brick Building on Corner of James Slip and Water Street, New York City

Accession Number

Brick Building on Corner of James Slip and Water Street, New York City

Walker Evans

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

8 in x 10 in (20.32 cm x 25.4 cm);18 1/8 in x 22 1/8 in (46.04 cm x 56.2 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry H. Lunn, Jr., in Honor of the Centennial of The Michigan Daily

Label copy
The choreographer Lincoln Kirstein became a friend of Walker Evans shortly after Evans’s return to New York from Paris in 1927. He wrote of Evans’s work: “Evans’s style is based on moral virtues of patience, surgical accuracy and self-effacement. In order to force details into their firmest relief, he could only work in brilliant sunlight, and the sun had to be on the correct side of the streets. Often many trips to the same house were necessary to avoid shadows cast by trees or other houses; only the spring and fall were favorable seasons.”
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
In this photograph of Water Street in Manhattan, Evans frames an empty street corner, devoid of pedestrians and traffic. Strong raking sunlight casts down from the right side of the image, bringing into focus the textures of a building's brick façade and the pavement. The sky to the right is a blindingly bright white light.

Physical Description
This photograph shows the façade of a brick building on a street corner.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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New York City
buildings (structures)
cityscapes (representations)
fire hydrants
modern and contemporary art
street lighting units

7 Related Resources

Architecture in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Politics, and Social Reform in the US, 1901-1950
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
New York City
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
The City in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
The Modern Metropolis
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Documentary Photography & Social Realism
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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