Street Scene, New Orleans, Louisiana

Walker Evans1935; printed later

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

This image succeeds as more than a document - it is a portrait of a town. A grocery store anchors the street corner like a surrogate town square. The noisy words of the advertisements, in contrast with the empty ladder, the propped-open screen door, and the quiet of the streets, give a mysterious quality to the image.

Evans once aspired to be a writer, so it is no coincidence that many of his photographs feature the words of local signs. Evans probably took this photograph on assignment for the Resettlement Administration, a government-sponsored project that sent photographers into rural communities during the Great Depression to document conditions there. Evans's photograph records the daily life of the place without showing its occupants.


  • Title: Street Scene, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Creator: Walker Evans
  • Date Created: 1935; printed later
  • Location Created: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 19.1 × 24.4 cm (7 1/2 × 9 5/8 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: 84.XM.129.8
  • 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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