The old and not so old Bethlehem - tribute to Walker Evans

Dan Chang

Shenzhen, China

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Artist's Description

This is quite an unusual discovery that Walker Evans one of the great American Photographers of the “Great Depression” Era actually took some remarkable and framed photos of Bethlehem in 1935. I’m quite inspired by him and wanted to do some research about his journey around Bethlehem. There are many write-ups about him and his works on the web.

The cemetery is the well-known “St John Cemetery” at 4th Street in South Bethlehem. Its quite a place to take photographs and many interesting shots can be attributed to this small cemetery. At least once a year some well known photographers from around the world will come here to take the “Walker Evans’ Shot”. But never the same or like the original photos because no one knows for sure where and at what angle he pointed his 10X12 camera. This is why he is such a remarkable and accomplished photographer.

This is my poor attempt of the “Walker Evans’ Shot” after many trips to the cemetery. I can roughly guessed the exact spot he stood when he took the framed “Bethlehem PA 1936” and “4th Street” photographs since its not a big place and there are only so many spots he can used but the stunning feature is also his remarkable editing and patch works. Since its about 70 years ago the cemetery has changed and due to vandalism many of the tombstones were damaged and new ones were put there replacing the old tombstones.

The great thing about historic and long gone photographers is their works are still cherished and kept for memories but sad part is can’t ask them “how did you managed to take that shot?”. That’s also the one question I asked when I see those great shots on Redbubble…good now I’m going to see who is posting; maybe some days I will be famous ;-))

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