Gingerbread, Pump House, Kennebunk, Maine / Maine Pump / Pump, Wedding-Cake House, Kennebunkport, Maine

Walker Evans1933

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Walker] Evans's style is based on moral virtues of patience, surgical accuracy and self-effacement. In order to force details into their firmest relief, he could only work in brilliant sunlight, and the sun had to be on the correct side of the streets. Often many trips to the same house were necessary to avoid shadows cast by trees or other houses; only the spring and fall were favorable seasons. The forms were sharpened until so precise an image was achieved, that many of the houses seem to exist in an airless nostalgia for the past

So wrote Lincoln Kirstein about Evans's images when Evans had his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1931 Evans traveled throughout New England photographing Victorian architecture. This study of the gingerbread, or decorative trimming, on a pump house in Kennebunkport, Maine, subtly juxtaposes clean, graphic shadows and highlights with the more fanciful ornamentation of the architecture. The lacy trimming of the overhang softens the stark, black rectangle of the doorway and the squares of the windows.

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  • Title: Gingerbread, Pump House, Kennebunk, Maine / Maine Pump / Pump, Wedding-Cake House, Kennebunkport, Maine
  • Creator: Walker Evans
  • Date: 1933
  • Physical Dimensions: 18.9 x 14.4 cm (7 7/16 x 5 11/16 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
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.XM.956.440
  • Inscription: Inscription: Mount, verso, pencil: center, "#65[?]; lower center, "II - 32"; lower left, "CUT 8 [8 is encircled] 4 3"/"4 " [last " is in inscription] [arrow pointing upward] HIGH". Mount, verso, pencil, Crane inventory number: lower left, "L69.12(Evans)". Mount, verso, pencil: lower right, "64.5 25 - 105". Mount, verso, type on MOMA circulating exhibition label: "EVANS" / "MAINE PUMP, 1933" / "65" / "38.2377". Mount, verso, pencil on MOMA circulating exhibition label: upper left, "#120"; upper center, "A.P. II - 32"; center, "[KENNEBUNKPORT]"; lower right, "197" [written sideways]. Mount, verso, wet stamp, black ink: lower right, "WALKER EVANS / 1681 YORK AVE. / NEW YORK 28, N.Y."; center, "COLLECTION / ARNOLD H. CRANE, CHICAGO, U.S.A.".
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs


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