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See Powerful Pictures Of Life in Mid 20th Century America

Truck and Sign, 1928-1930. Private collection, San Francisco; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Truck and Sign, 1928-1930. Private collection, San Francisco; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Self-Portrait, 1927. Ccollection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Roadside Stand Near Birmingham / Roadside Store Between Tuscaloosa and Greensboro, Alabama, 1936. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Street Debris, New York City, 1968. Private collection, San Francisco; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Penny Picture Display, Savannah, 1936. Pilara Foundation Collection; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Floyd and Lucille Burroughs, Hale County, Alabama, 1936. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Subway Portrait, 1938-1941. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Automobile junkyard, 1936, for Fortune. Walker Evans
Resort Photographer at Work, 1941. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
A train-window impression of Paterson, New Jersey, 1950, for Fortune. Walker Evans
Allie Mae Burroughs, Wife of a Cotton Sharecropper, Hale County, Alabama, 1936. Private collection; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Main Street, Saratoga Springs, New York, 1931. Private collection, San Francisco; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Untitled (Street Scene), 1950. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Chain-Nose Pliers, 1955, for Fortune. The Bluff Collection; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
"Morning on 116th Street" from pictorial essay on street displays. South side of West 116th St. 1958, for Fortune. Walker Evans
Collage with Thirty-Six Ticket Stubs, 1975. Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Walker Evans Archive; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Unidentified Sign Painter, Coca-Cola Thermometer, 1930-70. Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Walker Evans Archive; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
John T. Hill, Interior of Walker Evans’s House, Fireplace with Painting of Car, 1975, printed 2017. Private collection; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Lenoir Book Co., Main Street, Showing Confederate Monument, Lenoir, North Carolina, 1900–40. Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Walker Evans Archive; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Sidewalk and Shopfront, New Orleans, 1935. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Willard Van Dyke; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

It’s not every day that we at Fortune get to cover ourselves. Today, we are making an exception.

Here’s why: Fortune, launched nearly 90 years ago, has long been noted for its photography. One of the most well-known and influential contributors to that reputation is Walker Evans, a Missouri-born photojournalist who started doing work for the magazine in the 1930s and eventually served as our photo editor, a tenure that lasted 20 years. Starting this week (and through February 4, 2018), a collection of Evans’ works will be on exhibit at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.

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The museum gave a press preview of the collection last week, which included several Fortune covers and photo essays. Evans, born in 1903, is best known for documenting the effects of the Great Depression. His documentary style of photography not only captured the suffering and strength of the nation through portraits, but also via everyday details like junked automobiles and urban architecture. Unlike most other photojournalists at that time, he also wrote and laid out his photo essays himself, taking ownership of his photo essays from start to finish.

One such package, on display at the museum, is titled “People and Places in Trouble.” The story, published in our March 1961 issue, shows a range of distressed subjects throughout the Eastern region of our country. But Evans’s writing is just as harrowing as his photos: “They speak with their eyes. People out of work are not given to talking much about the one thing on their minds. You only sense, by indirection, degrees of anger, shades of humiliation, and echoes of fear.”

In many ways, Evans’ documentation and commentary on life in mid 20th century America is just as relevant today as it was back in his day. For a deeper view into Evans and his works, click through the gallery above.

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