Roadside Stand Near Birmingham, Alabama by Walker Evans (1936)

The photograph “Roadside Stand Near Birmingham, Alabama,” taken by the artist Walker Evans in 1936, captures a slice of American life during the Great Depression. It shows a small, rustic roadside stand with various advertisements and products on display.

In the black-and-white image, the roadside stand is constructed from wood and features signage advertising the business as “F.M. POINTER The Old Reliable HOUSE MOVER.” A large hand-painted sign with the word “FISH” dominates the front of the stand, along with the phrase “Honest Weights, Square Dealings,” suggesting a strong commitment to fairness and trustworthiness in their transactions. Displayed beneath this sign are prices for different types of fish available that day, including catfish, river fish, and trout, among others.

Two individuals, both wearing hats, stand in front of the stand. The person on the left is reaching up towards the signage, possibly adjusting or pointing at something, while the individual on the right stands with hands on hips, possibly an attendant or a customer. On the sides of the stand, various fruits and vegetables, including watermelons and what appear to be apples, are neatly arranged for sale, showcasing the variety of produce the stand offers to potential buyers who might be passing by the rural Alabama road. The photograph exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit amidst challenging economic times and captures the rural commerce of the era.

Other Photographs from Walker Evans

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