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Flowers and Poster of Herbert Hoover in House Window, Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Accession Number
2014/2.261

Title
Flowers and Poster of Herbert Hoover in House Window, Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Artist(s)
Walker Evans

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1929-1931, printed 1971

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
4 9/16 in x 2 1/2 in (11.59 cm x 6.35 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Maxine and Lawrence K. Snider

Label copy
Walker Evans frequently features windows and mirrors as formal and conceptual devices in his images of urban and rural life in the United States. Though he was famous for being a documentary photographer, Evans resisted that label. Notably, he saw a distinction between documents and what he called his "deliberately wrought visual poetry disguised as plain prosaic fact."

In Flowers and Poster of Herbert Hoover, a window pane frames the face of Herbert Hoover, who looks out at the viewer from an aging campaign poster. The rotting window frame, drooping flowers, and a soiled box are evidence of dereliction brought to the viewer's attention through Evan's close framing. The photograph, made in the year of the stock market crash that initiated the Great Depression, ironically suggests the discrepancy between the image of prosperity Hoover promoted as presidential candidate and the economic realities of the time. 

In both Moving Truck and Bureau Mirror and Mirror in Hotel Lobby Evans draws the viewer's attention to mirrors, which, like photographs, create a three-dimensional illusion on a flat surface. In Moving Truck, the shallow space of the photograph is opened up by a reflected view of the jumble of furniture in the back of an open truck, while in Hotel Lobby the mirror seems almost like a portal opening onto a deep interior space.

Subject matter
This photograph is an exterior view of a window surrounded by a wooden sill. Through the window, one can see flowers and a political poster featuring a portrait of Herbert Hoover.

Physical Description
This work shows an exterior view of a window; inside the window are flowers and a poster portraying a portrait of a man.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
curtains (window hangings)
flowers (plant components)
political posters
windows

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved