[Rural Church, Beaufort, South Carolina]

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

Date: 1936

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 22.7 x 18.5 cm (8 15/16 x 7 5/16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation Gift, in memory of David Nathan Meyerson; and Pat and John Rosenwald and Lila Acheson Wallace Gifts, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.237.3

Rights and Reproduction: © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Description

"Out-of-the-way churches … comprise the most unnoticeable ecclesiastical architecture in the U.S. But they are unnoticeable with a vengeance: even the unbeliever must feel their force. These buildings are primitive, if the term may be used without its shade of condescension … country churches of fading, weatherworn wood, with touches of old color on the trim. In these, the rewarding features are belfry and tower, sporting all variety of shingle play and dancing line. Amplified by understatement, consecration speaks tenfold over such labored glorifications as Saint Patrick's Fifth Avenue or the Cathedral of St. John the Divine."

-Walker Evans, "Primitive Churches," Architectural Forum (December 1961)

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