Strangers on a Train
11/03/2013 § 4 Comments
If you assumed that furtively snapping photos of people on the subway was a relatively new social phenomenon, ushered in large part by fancy smartphones, American photographer Walker Evans would beg to differ (if he were still alive, that is). Between the years of 1938 and 1941, Evans rode New York City subways with a camera hidden in his coat, in an effort to capture unguarded and unposed portraits of city commuters as they rode the train. The portraits offer a remarkable glimpse into old New York, although I can’t help but notice that some things — like catching a quick snooze and/or ignoring musicians, for example — don’t really seem all that different from the subways of today.
Fabulous photos. It would be lovely to wear smart clothes and hats when travelling to and from work today, but one would stand out like a sore thumb. I am sure I was born in the wrong era.
What an awesome glimpse into the past! Thanks for sharing this, Mariah!
Oh, the accordionist! A young Tom Waits abandons his double bass for something more subway-manoeuverable? This is a Jim Jarmusch-esque vignette I would watch the hell out of. Swoon.
[…] Last but not least, you can see an earlier post about Walker Evans here. […]