Material History of American Religion Project

Picturing Faith: Religious America in Government Photography, 1935 - 1943

Church of the Nazarene
Walker Evans
1936
Tennessee

For Walker Evans, the viewer of a photograph did not need to know much about the content of the picture in order to appreciate it. Evans rarely included descriptive captions and frequently composed tight shots where the form of the building takes up the whole frame of the picture. Not only are there no people, there are no trees, sky, or other buildings to distract us from seeing the church’s form.

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