Walker Evans claimed that he sought out his subjects "by instinct, like a bird, entirely by instinct. Like a squirrel too, burying and hiding, and divining where the nuts are." This photograph reveals not only that he was adept at identifying compelling subjects, but that in front of his camera his subjects were entirely at ease.

People and their way of life fascinated Evans. In this photograph he captured two individuals looking away from each other, as if the presence of the other person were of no consequence. Perhaps they are a couple so accustomed to one another that there is no need for acknowledgement. Perhaps they are simply looking out toward Main Street, observing the activities of their neighbors. The couple, their habits, and the consumer products behind them represent a way of life that Evans recognized as vanishing and that he specifically set out to record.


  • Title: Main Street at Kingwood, West Virginia
  • Creator: Walker Evans
  • Date Created: June 1935
  • Location Created: Kingwood, West Virginia, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 20 × 25.1 cm (7 7/8 × 9 7/8 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 94.XM.7
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Walker Evans (American, 1903 - 1975)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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