Walker Evans (1903-1975) made this photo somewhere in Alabama, in March 1936. This is the first photo by someone other than me that I’ve posted on this website. It’s here because it’s very cool. One of the things that I like most about Evans is his eye for the visual poetry (and visual humor) of everyday life.
(Click directly on the photo to see a larger version.)
Evans was already making a reputation for himself as a photographer, when he found himself standing in front of this small town feed store. But it was the Depression and he needed work. The Resettlement Administration [RA], a branch of the federal government that was responsible for assisting poor farmers and sharecroppers, gave it to him. As a part of the RA’s Historical Section, he was one of several dozen photographers whose job it was to document the effects of the Depression and the work that the RA (and, later, the Farm Security Administration [FSA]) was doing to address the crisis.
Because Evans was employed by the United States federal government when he made "Jazz Feeds," it’s not protected by copyright. Perhaps a better way of putting it would be to say that the copyright is held by "We the People."
You can download low-res and hi-res versions of the photograph from the Library of Congress, here. I’m speaking from experience when I say that the hi-res version will make a very nice print, with just a little bit of tweaking in Photoshop. It's a lot of fun, too, printing the likes of Walker Evans.
Many of the images made by Evans and other RA/FSA photographers--such as Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks, who rank among the leading photographers of the twentieth century--are available from the Library of Congress, as hi- and low-res downloads. Here’s a good starting place.
Rachel Hulin blogged about printing the RA/FSA downloads last January. Her post about working with one of John Vachon’s color photos is worth reading. You can find it here.