[Wooden Gothic House, Massachusetts]

Walker Evans1930

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Walker Evans was attracted to all things uniquely American, and this structure's mixing of architectural styles without regard for historical accuracy was certainly an American phenomenon. This bizarre house probably appealed to Evans because of its distinctive combination of Gothic Revival and Greek Revival elements. Obviously Gothic Revival, two large, side-by-side arches span the porch, echoed by the small arched window on the upper facade, complete with pointed shutters. The Greek Revival fluted columns supporting the upper story's porch appear inconsistent, suggesting that this home may have been altered in an attempt to adopt a more fashionable style.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Americans typically looked to catalogs and pattern books to determine the style in which they should build their homes. They often drew from various sources, choosing whichever elements they fancied. This eclecticism was especially appealing to Evans, whose quest for the typical often involved the many places Americans called home.

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  • Title: [Wooden Gothic House, Massachusetts]
  • Creator: Walker Evans
  • Date: 1930
  • Physical Dimensions: 13.3 x 11.1 cm (5 1/4 x 4 3/8 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.956.486
  • Inscription: Inscription: Mount, recto, black ink, in artist's hand: upper right, "Part Two / Cat. No. 26"; lower center, "26. Wooden Gothic House, / Mass., 1930". Mount, recto, pencil, in later unknown hand: lower right, "76". Mat, recto, pencil, later unknown hand: lower right, "51'. Mat, recto, pencil, Crane inventory number: lower left, "L68.54(Evans)". Mount, verso, pencil: lower right, "H2416 - 86 / 86 / NO ["no" is in a box] 150 W"; lower right, "76". Mount, verso, wet stamp, black ink: center, "Walker Evans".
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs