6th Avenue

Walker Evans1929

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

This photograph was first published in 1930 in a portfolio of Walker Evans's work, "New York City," in Hound and Horn, Lincoln Kirstein's literary journal at Harvard University. As the first plate, titled simply Sixth Avenue, it was an anonymous image of a pedestrian caught by chance in the midst of city traffic.

Evans favored this sort of street portrait throughout his career. He brazenly closed in on this stranger, whose weary face is framed in an abundant fur collar. Evans's goal was to record a glimpse of random faces against the chaos of crowds, automobiles, and mass transit. In this view, the entrance to the elevated train dominates the right edge of the picture.

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  • Title: 6th Avenue
  • Creator: Walker Evans
  • Date: 1929
  • Physical Dimensions: 12.1 x 18.6 cm (4 3/4 x 7 5/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Signed, mount, recto, pencil: lower right, "Walker Evans". Dated in artist's hand, mount recto, pencil: lower left, "1931". Dated in artist's hand, mount, verso, pencil: upper left, "6th Ave./1929".
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.XM.956.506
  • Inscription: Inscription: Mat, recto, pencil: lower right, "63". Mat, recto, pencil, Crane inventory number: lower left, "L68.13(Evans)". Mount, verso, wet stamp, black ink: lower center, "COLLECTION / ARNOLD H. CRANE, CHICAGO, U.S.A.". Mat, recto, pencil on white label taped down: lower center, "N.Y. 1931 / Pubd in /HOUND & HORN / Also American Photographs".
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs