Walker Evans took this photo of the Tengle family in 1936, in the middle of the Great Depression. During this time, many Americans didn’t have jobs. And many couldn't afford the basic necessities of life, like heat for their homes, new clothes, or three square meals a day. The family in this picture were sharecroppers—farmers who gave a landlord some of their crop as rent. Sharecroppers were some of the people who struggled most during the Great Depression.

It was Evans’s job to document the day-to-day life of families struggling in the Deep South. He would take pictures with a small camera until they got comfortable with him, and then begin using a larger, more imposing camera that took better pictures. But he didn’t capture them in formal poses. Instead he captured ordinary aspects of their day: at rest, with each other, and finding comfort in a doll.


More Audio Guides

Laura Owens audio guide
Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World audio guide
Toyin Ojih Odutola audio guide
An Incomplete History of Protest audio guide
An Incomplete History of Protest audio guide
Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium audio guide