America Is Hard to See

Solo en Inglès

Kids can listen and learn from this audio guide highlighting selected works in America Is Hard to See.

Walker Evans (1903–1975). _Tengle Children, Hale County AL_, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 6 3/4 × 9 1/2 in. (17.1 × 24.1 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of Sondra Gilman Gonzalez Falla and Celso Gonzalez Falla to Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and The Gilman and Gonzalez Falla Arts Foundation P.2014.65 © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.

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.

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