Strangers on a Train

11/03/2013 § 4 Comments

Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker Evans Walker EvansIf 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.

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