Evans began his photographic career in 1928. His studies of Victorian architecture and his photographs of the rural South during the Great Depression, made for the Farm Security Administration, are among his best-known works. Many of Evans's photographs of tenant farmers appeared in the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941, with text by James Agee). Evans's other books include American Photographs (1938) and Message from the Interior (1966). His work is characterized by a spare precision that emphasizes the dignity of his subjects.
See biographies by B. Rathbone (1995) and J. R. Mellow (1999); Walker Evans (Mus. of Modern Art, 1971).