New York

Accession Number

New York

Walker Evans

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
circa 1934

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

7 15/16 in x 10 in (20.16 cm x 25.4 cm);18 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in x 3/8 in (45.88 cm x 56.04 cm x 0.95 cm);6 7/16 in x 8 1/4 in (16.35 cm x 20.96 cm)

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

Label copy
As he often did, Evans here includes the context of the street, but devoid of inhabitants. There are slightly angled elements that create a subtle patterning to the otherwise flat brick walls and fenestration. The chair tipped against the entrance, the window standing open at the top center, the stairs and awning at lower left all suggest the presence of man, although the scene becomes almost like a stage set, awaiting the actors to take the stage. Evans’s images of New York reflect the subtle rhythms of urban life.
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
This photograph of a building façade on a New York City street, depicts a scene devoid of inhabitants. Signs indicate that the building houses a hotel, restaurant, and liquor store. The camera captures details that evoke the unseen human presence: a chair tipped against the entrance on the first floor, at the right edge of the image, and the unequally open window panes on the upper floors that catch the sunlight, reflecting an opaquely brilliant white.

Physical Description
This photograph of a sidewalk in front of a store shows it devoid of inhabitants.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Urban life
buildings (structures)
hotels (public accommodations)
modern and contemporary art
steps (stair units)

13 Related Resources

(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
Architecture in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Borders of Identity in North America
(Part of 14 Learning Collections)
Documentary Photography & Social Realism
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
New York City
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Social Justice
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Social Justice and Art 1929-1945
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
The City in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
The Modern Metropolis
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Social realism, mid-19th century to mid-20th century
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Photos from UMMA After Hours - March 10, 2017
(Part of: Mobilizing Memory: Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved