Penny Picture Display, Savannah

Artist: Walker Evans (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1903–1975 New Haven, Connecticut)

Date: 1936

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 24.7 x 19.3 cm (9 3/4 x 7 5/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.1100.482


This picture is a composite portrait of a slice of society. It represents the window display of an anonymous portrait photographer working in the South during the Depression. On each of the photographer's large sheet-film negatives, he managed to make fifteen individual portraits and thought most exposures good enough to use in this advertising display. Close inspection reveals that the photographer covered his occasional failures with more successful images cut from other contact sheets.