Walker Evans (1903-1975, American)

Walker EvansWalker Evans (1903-1975, American) was born in St. Louis, Missouri into an upper middle class family. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 1922 and then studied French literature. In 1925, he went to Paris, returning in 1926 to New York City.  After holding various jobs, he took up photography in 1928.  In 1933, he traveled to Cuba where he took photographs of street life, police, and beggars.

Evans became friends with the cat loving Hemingway, who loaned him money so he could extend his stay in Havana. Some of his photographs, which he left with Hemingway for safe keeping, were discovered in Hemingway’s Havana belongings only in 2002.

In 1935, Evans started working with the Resettlement Administration in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and later joined the Farm Security Administration where he continued his photography of the Depression era south.  Evans continued to work for the FSA until 1938 when he held his first exhibition of photographs at The Museum of Modern Art.  In 1941, he and James Agee published a ground breaking book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men which detailed the poverty endured by tenant farmers in the late 30’s. 

Evans is one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.  He is best known for his photographs that captured the emotional realism of those suffering from the poverty of the Great Depression.  However, his later photographs portray every day activities in a clear and often times humorous manner, especially those of cats. Obviously a cat lover, Evans captured the attitudes of his cats with finesse.

Walker Evans, Cat Eating


Evans was not just a photographer, but also a writer and editor. In 1945, he became a staff writer at Time magazine and later an editor at Fortune magazine up through 1965 when he left to become a professor of graphic design at the Yale University of Art.

Evans died in 1975 of an apparent stroke in his New Haven, Connecticut apartment.

He said his goal as a photographer was to make pictures that are “literate, authoritative, transcendent.”


Seated Woman with Cat on Roof, New York City 1928-33, Walker Evans

Seated Woman with Cat on Roof, New York City 1928-33


Walker Evans, 18 Views of Cat and Fire Escapes, New York City

18 Views of Cat and Fire Escapes, New York City


Walker Evans, Black Cat Jumping

Black Cat Jumping



Walker Evans, Black Cat

Black Cat



Walker Evans, Summer 1936Cat on porch of a sharecropper's cabin, Hale County, Alabama

Summer 1936 Cat on porch of a sharecropper’s cabin, Hale County, Alabama


Walker Evans, Kitten



Walker Evans, Cat Playing with Ball

Cat Playing with Ball


Walker Evans, Cat


Walker Evans, Cat in the Grass


Walker Evans, Cat in the Grass 2


Walker Evans, Cat in the Sink


Walker Evans, Cat in the Sink 2


Walker Evans, Cat on a Stool


Walker Evans, Cat on a Stool 2


Walker Evans, Tabby Cat


Walker Evans, Expectant Tabby Cat


Walker Evans, Tabby Cat 2


Walker Evans, Tabby Cat 3


Walker Evans, Tabby Cat Close Up


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. 


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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