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New Art! Walker Evans’ 1930s Auto Shop

Auto parts shop. Atlanta, Georgia by Walker Evans
8"10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($800)

Your walls are due for a tune up, and our new Walker Evans release is ready to rev your engine. But Auto parts shop. Atlanta, Georgia isn’t just a great excuse to pull over for some stellar car-related puns—it’s also an excellent example of what made Walker Evans tick.

From mid-1935 to early 1937, Walker Evans worked for the historical unit of the Farm Security Administration. Charged with the task of documenting Depression-era rural America, Evans traversed the U.S. during his time with the FSA, but it was his work in the American South that he’d become best known for.

As evidenced by the other two editions in our select collection of his images, Evans had an affinity for typography, lettering and language. He was instinctively drawn to striking signage and the aesthetic quality of handcrafted type. Today’s release is another example of that inclination—the lettering of the bold sign hanging above the shop is likely based on the font Windsor, though its distinctive inflections suggest it was painted by hand. This stands in elegant opposition to today’s standardized fonts and neon signs.

The imprecise human touch is part of Auto parts shop. Atlanta, Georgia’s charm. Of course, the 1928 or ‘29 Ford Model A roadster in the foreground adds to the nostalgic appeal. (Fun fact: about 13 years after this picture was taken, Cherokee Auto Parts sponsored Gober Sosebee, one of the earliest NASCAR drivers). Alas, we’re hardly the first to find inspiration in this Evans image—see: none other than than Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits album cover—and we’re sure we won’t be the last.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200