[Signs, New York City]

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

Date: 1928–29

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 28.3 x 19.1 cm (11 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.)

Classification: Photographs

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

Accession Number: 1987.1100.147

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


The electric signs in the photograph alternately flashed the company's name and the names of its two principal products. As there were approximately one hundred million wheels rolling over America's road in 1928, the sale of tires quickly overtook that of rubber galoshes. The image expresses Evans's conviction that modern art could be timeless yet topical when perfectly wrought of vernacular materials.