Walker Evans Minstrel Showbill 1936

  • Not on view

Over the course of his career, Evans created an unvarnished portrait of the United States, photographing people, buildings, and signage, including this poster advertising a minstrel show peeling off a brick wall. Minstrel shows were an exploitative form of popular entertainment throughout the US from the 19th century into the 1950s that reinforced white supremacy by perpetuating painful and negative stereotypes of African Americans. Taken in 1936 during the Great Depression, while Evans was on assignment for the Farm Security Administration, this photograph serves as a record of the long history of violence and oppression facing the country’s Black communities.

Gallery label from 2021
Gelatin silver print
7 7/16 × 6 5/16" (18.9 × 16 cm)
Gift of the artist
Object number
© 2023 Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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