[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.