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Friday, 29 July 2011

Pan in the Weeds: Classical American Architecture (Walker Evans, Chicago 1947)


Walker Evans: Chicago: a photo-essay: Fortune magazine, February 1947 (via fulltable)




Flash in the pan, Pan in the weeds, and after less than a century of progress, look where we've come . . . .


light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, towhee calling chweeeee chweeeee
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

event which names forgotten
occurrence, “subject”

whether one side or another,
not to have been, was

grey white of fog against top of ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

Ed Baker said...

Peg Leg Bates !!!! WOW!

traveled with the Ink Spots

also both frequently played on bill with Sophie Tucker my grandmother used to take me to Club Kavokas and the Casino Royal to see them

long about the 1950's

I see now in my mind Peg Leg Bates "winging 'it' "

TC said...

Ah, Steve, progress -- another flash in the pan in the wonderful deep-fry of history.

Talking of nostagia, it's almost unimaginable from a "contemporary perspective" that Evans was given good money and significant editorial power by a magazine subscribed to almost exclusively by the very rich, and allowed to exhibit work like this in its pages.

And not only that, Ed, but way over on the right end of the Oriental Theater marquee, and thus unfortunately clipped out of the picture here, is the announcement of the headliner on the bill, "Mr. Cleanhead," Eddie Vinson.

They knew how to chop and change in those days... even if it was an

event [in] which names [are now] forgotten

Ed Baker said...

we used to make root-beer floats using Dad's Root Beer

in the summer over by the ice-cream cooler we set up a table & I was the soda-jerk

now, 60 + years later, I'm just a by-gone jerk!

we also sold a lot of Joe Louis (chocolate) Drink
& frozen Three Musketeers & tons of penny candy

TC said...


Not a word of it. You're just coming into your own.

Root beer was always my favorite flavour in Life Savers.

PS. Some home town stuff for you today, here.

ACravan said...

These individual images are all striking and stirring. Collected and composed here, they're very moving. Like everyone, I'm sure, seeing the theater marquee advertising the Ink Spots really grabs me. I suppose the next two pets in our house, whenever they appear, will need to be Coke and Poke. Curtis

larry white said...

What a cornucopia (much rooted in the South) of musical life Chicago was by the mid-'40s when I was born there -- "with a caul", but soon removed. I love to listen to Chi-town giants like Wynonie Harris from my birth year whom I didn't begin to discern until my teens in NY, when it was also Peg Leg Howell but not Bates I heard. So much lost-in-the-shuffle. Bypassed the popular Ink Spots until they came to Chappaqua to perform in a field adjoining the train station parking lot in the '70s -- an "oldies" show.

Yes, Walker the exquisite classicist. I suppose the very rich who were his patrons were at least Americans enough to dig some native genius and know what fed circulation and profit. By that time they had some measure of the failure of Nazi and Soviet "realism".