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Mayor’s Office, Moundville, Alabama

Working for the Farm Security Administration, Evans sought to capture the spirit of American culture through its people and artifacts. He found emotional power in the places themselves, especially in the plain, vernacular architecture of the rural South. Despite the lack of ornamentation on this civic building, there is a dignity in its honest simplicity. Even amidst ruin and poverty, it provides a semblance of order, hope, and democracy—the mission of the New Deal. Evans became acquainted with the people and places of Moundville and near-by Hale County while working with James Agee on the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes ten other images shot by Evans in Moundville and Hale County (Eskenazi Museum of Art 200. X.12.1–.2, .5–.9, .12, .14, and .16).

Walker Evans
American, 1903–1975
Mayor’s Office, Moundville, Alabama
1935–36 (printed ca. 1949)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 7 5/8 x 9 9/16 in. (19.4 x 24.2 cm); sheet: 8 x 9 15/16 in. (20.3 x 25.2 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Henry Holmes Smith Archive, 200. X.12.10

Large image not available.