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Depression-era photography, writing to be featured in Foster Gallery

RELEASED: Oct. 21, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — A new exhibit titled "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: The Photographs of Walker Evans, the Words of James Agee" will be displayed Nov. 4-24 in the Foster Gallery of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. An opening reception will take place from 7:30-9 p.m. Nov. 4.

The featured artists, Walker Evans and James Agee, used revolutionary documentary photography to expose the lives of post-depression tenant farmers in Alabama. Evans' photographs are an accompaniment to Agee's famous text.

According to Tom Wagener, director of the Foster Gallery, Evans helped open the eyes of others about the country's suffering. "During the depression era, numerous federal programs were enacted to help America pull out of the extreme poverty many citizens faced," Wagener said. "Evans' photographs helped draw attention to their plight."

Evans began photography in the late 1920s, publishing his first photos in New York in 1930. He was hired by what is now known as the Farm Security Administration to take photographs of workers and architecture in the Southeastern states. In 1936, he traveled with Agee to illustrate an article for Fortune magazine. Agee's book, "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," was a result of that collaboration.

Foster Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, 6-8 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4:30 p.m. weekends. Entry to the gallery is free and open to the public.

For more information about gallery exhibits, contact TomWagener at 715-836-2328 or wagenetk@uwec.edu.

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BC/RD/DW

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