The Emerson Gallery, Hamilton College and Curatorial
Assistance Traveling Exhibitions provided source material to Resource
Library for the following article. If you have questions or comments
regarding the exhibition, please contact the Emerson Gallery, Hamilton College
directly through either this phone number or web address:
Ernest Hemingway and Walker
Evans: Three Weeks in Cuba, 1933
February 15 - April 15, 2007
This exhibition examines
the friendship between Walker Evans and Ernest Hemingway while both were
living in Havana in 1933. Through a combination of never-before-exhibited
photographs by Evans, and newly found Hemingway letters, photographs and
artifacts, the exhibition reveals how the events the men witnessed, the
political upheaval they observed and their late night discussions influenced
their creative styles.
I have some pictures tonight, and will have more tomorrow... These cryptic words, in a handwritten note to Hemingway from
Evans, are part of a mystery that is only now coming to light. Their friendship
began in Havana in May 1933. Hemingway had arrived in Cuba to fish and work
on manuscripts. Evans came to take photographs for The Crime of Cuba, which
was severely critical of the Cuban dictator Machado. The social and political
upheaval they observed, and their late night discussions, affected the work
of both men for the rest of their lives.
During this period Hemingway wrote To Have and Have
Not, and many of Evans' photographs are directly related to scenes in
this book. Through a combination of never-before-exhibited photographs by
Evans, newly found Hemingway letters, photographs and artifacts, the exhibition
will expand our understanding of the relationship between Hemingway and
Evans and the influence these remarkable men had on each other's creative
Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans: Three Weeks in Cuba,
1933 is organized by the Key West Museum of Art
and History at the Custom House, Florida, and circulated by Curatorial Assistance
Introductory text panel from the exhibition
- "I have some pictures tonight, and will have
- These cryptic words, in a handwritten note to Ernest
Hemingway (1899-1961) from Walker Evans (1903-1975), set in motion events
that still have meaning today. The three weeks these men spent together
in Havana in 1933 had a lasting impact on each of them. The events they
witnessed, the political upheaval they observed, and their many late night
discussions, affected the style and powers of observation of each man for
the rest of his life.
- Evans became internationally acclaimed for a documentary
style of photography as spare and compelling as Hemingway's prose. Passages
in Hemingway's To Have and Have Not seem to spring directly from
the photographs Evans gave to Hemingway that night in Havana.
- Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans: Three Weeks in
Cuba, 1933 is organized by the Key West Museum
of Art & History at the Custom House, Florida and is toured by Curatorial
Assistance, Inc., Pasadena, California.
Other text panels
- Young Hemingway
- Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, the son of a
conservative Oak Park, Illinois doctor. Early in life, he showed an interest
in sports and writing. In one particularly prophetic, if not well-spelled,
essay at age nine, Hemingway wrote that his:
- "favourite authors are Kipling, O. Henry and Steuart
Edward White. My favourite flower is Lady slipper and Tiger Lily. My favourite
sports are Trout fishing, Hiking, shooting, football and boxing. My favourite
studys are English, Zoology and Chemistry. I intend to travel and write."
- During summer trips to the family cottage on Walloon
Lake in northern Michigan, he learned to fish and shoot, he fell in love,
and he confronted the challenges of growing into manhood. Some of these
experiences would emerge in his early short stories, particularly Indian
- A bad eye kept him out of regular military service in
World War I, so at age 18, he took a job reporting for the Kansas City
Star. As a young reporter, Hemingway learned what he later claimed
were the best rules for writing prose: "Use short sentences, use short
first paragraphs, use vigorous English. Be positive. Never use old slang,
and eliminate every superfluous word."
- As the war dragged on, Hemingway volunteered for the
American Red Cross Ambulance Corps and was sent to Italy. He saw, first
hand, the horror and carnage of war, and in July, 1918 he was wounded by
almost 200 pieces of shrapnel. While recovering in a hospital, he fell
in love with his nurse, Agnes Von Kurowsky. She later dismissed their affair
and Hemingway made her the model for his character Catherine Barkley, who
dies at the end of his celebrated novel, A Farewell to Arms.
- When Hemingway recovered and returned from the war, his
hometown hailed him a hero. He then went to work, briefly, as a freelancer
for the Toronto Star and in Chicago he fell in love with Hadley
Richardson, whom he married in 1921. As the European correspondent for
the Star, he moved with Hadley to Paris for the next several years,
interrupted by a return to Toronto for the birth of their son, John. It
was also in Paris that Hemingway met his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer,
a fashion editor for Vogue magazine.
- Walker Evans, The Early Years
- Walker Evans was born in St. Louis in 1903, but his father,
a puritanical and ambitious advertising executive, soon moved his family
to north suburban Chicago, not many miles from the Hemingway family home.
- In 1915, Evans's father took a job with the Willys Motorcar
Company, and the family moved to Toledo, Ohio, a small town then dominated
by a very poor immigrant population.
- His parents divorced four years later, and 16-year-old
Evans was sent to Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts,
where he seemed to be in continuous conflict with the headmaster.
- After being refused admission to Yale University, Evans
enrolled in Williams College in Massachusetts, where he became interested
in literature, especially the work of contemporary writers T.S. Eliot,
Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway. Ironically, many years later
in 1965, after achieving fame, Evans became a professor at Yale.
- After his freshman year at Williams, Evans dropped out
of school and moved to New York City intending to become a writer. In 1926,
he traveled to Paris and attended classes at the Sorbonne. Although he
was aware that Hemingway, one of his literary idols, was also living in
Paris at the time, and although both men probably frequented some of the
same places, they never formally met.
- It wasn't until Evans returned to New York in 1927 that
he began to experiment with photography.
- Paris in the 1920s
- After World War I, the surge in America's economy meant
that Americans could stretch their dollars much further in France than
they could in their own country. For young struggling writers and artists,
who had long considered Paris the cultural and artistic capital of the
western world, this proved an irresistible lure.
- The 1920s saw an extraordinary number of creative Americans
migrate to the "City of Light." These included musicians and
composers such as George Gershwin and Aaron Copeland, singers and dancers
like Josephine Baker, and photographers such as Man Ray. Additionally,
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos and other writers
made Paris their home during this era.
- The American writers had one thing in common: they all
spent time in Sylvia Beach's bookshop and lending library-Shakespeare
and Company. Both Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans borrowed books,
and although they may have seen each other there, they were never introduced.
- First Trip to Key West
- Ernest Hemingway's first trip to Key West in 1928 was
intended only as a way stop, but once he felt the sun, smelled the salty
air and met the locals, he knew the island would be his home. Key West
was a poor town but one with spirit, eager to take in the ambitious writer
and his second wife, Pauline. It didn't take long for him to find friends
among the fishermen, locals, and hard drinkers who supplied ample material
for his writings and perhaps more importantly, taught him to fish.
- Among the new acquaintances were part-time smuggler,
part-time bar-owner Joe Russell, owner of Sloppy Joe's Bar, fishermen Eddy
"Bra" Saunders and his half-brother Burge, and later Toby Bruce,
who became his right-hand man and life-long companion.
- Key West provided a convenient base, where, for the decade
of the 1930s, the young couple could raise their sons, entertain visitors
from the north, and still get away to New York, Africa, Europe or Cuba
whenever they wanted. The area also offered other conveniences. Henry Flagler's
Overseas Railway ran on schedule until the disastrous 1935 hurricane; a
large house on Whitehead Street provided ample shelter; there were fishing
boats available for chartering until Hemingway bought his own boat, Pilar,
in 1934; quiet mornings were perfect for writing; and speakeasies operated
in the evenings with little interference.
- Crime in the Streets
- Following years of economic and political chaos, the
Cuban people elected Geraldo Machado y Morales president in 1925. He began
his administration with an anti-corruption campaign and increasingly tightened
control over the governmental bureaucracy. He justified the growing tyrannical
nature of his regime by saying that the recovery of the national economy
demanded harsh measures if stability was to be achieved. The ever more
powerful secret police harassed, jailed, and deported labor leaders and
students who protested the government's brutal measures. At the same time
Cuba became a paradise for foreigners and their money.
- In a bloody response to the repression, a group of Cuban
intellectuals formed a terrorist organization called "ABC" that
bombed police stations and shot members of the hated militia. The spiral
of violence continued until 1933, when Walker Evans on assignment sailed
into this cauldron to record the atrocities of the Machado regime. However,
before Evans's book could be published, the Cuban military and the American
embassy withdrew their support for the Machado government. On August 12,
1933, the dictator fled into exile.
- Unfortunately, the end of Machado did not mean the end
of violence or corruption in Cuba. The cycle continued through a series
of elections and military coups, until 1959, when Fidel Castro overthrew
Fulgencio Batista and became prime minister, and a different form of corruption
- "You know how it is there early in the morning in
Havana with the bums still asleep against the walls of the buildings; before
even the ice wagons come by with ice for the bars?''
- When Ernest Hemingway penned these famous opening lines
to his American novel To Have and Have Not he could have been describing
Walker Evans's photographs of dozing bums shot in Havana in 1933.
- If not, Hemingway certainly was thinking of the same
scenes, which he and Evans witnessed during their brief, but mutually influential
time in Cuba that spring.
- Some of the photos Hemingway carried back to Key West
for Evans show mutilated corpses that Evans had copied from newspaper files.
One especially gruesome image is of Manuel Cepero, pictured here in ABC
note with postmortem of dead man, killed by revolutionaries for being a
stool pigeon, or "a long tongue." In his book, Hemingway's literary
tough guy, Harry Morgan, is confronted by a Cuban smuggler who asks: "You're
not a lengua larga are you?" referring to someone who talks
- "Listen," says Harry. "Don't be so tough
so early in the morning. I'm sure you've cut plenty of peoples throats.
I haven't even had my coffee yet."
- Many of Evans's photographs made during those weeks record
the atmosphere of political unrest in Cuba that serves as the background
in Hemingway's book.
- Hemingway the Fisherman
- From the time he was a three-year-old boy vacationing
at Walloon Lake in Michigan, Ernest Hemingway was an avid fisherman.
- Wherever he traveled he fished: in the States, Canada,
France, Switzerland, and Spain. But when he moved to Key West in the early
1930s, Hemingway found that fishing could be as physically challenging
a sport as bull fighting or football, especially when the fisherman was
pitted against a large marlin, tarpon, or sailfish.
- Hemingway loved going after the big ones. Dozens of photos
record his piscatorial prizes caught in Gulf Stream waters, waters he described
in a 1936 Esquire magazine article as "an unexploited country
no one knows what fish live in it, or how great [a] size they reach or
what age. In hunting you know what you are after and [the] top you can
get is an elephant. But who can say what you will hook sometime when drifting
in a hundred and fifty fathoms in the Gulf Stream?"
- The struggle between man and big fish is epitomized in
Hemingway's Pulitzer prize winning allegory, The Old Man and the Sea,
in which an aging fisherman becomes one with a great marlin as he first
struggles for hours to kill it and then must fight to protect his catch
from predatory sharks. The book, published in 1952, seemed to be a culmination
of Hemingway's lifelong affair with both fishing and writing.
- Pauline at Home
- During the 1930s, Ernest and Pauline Hemingway lived
comfortably in Key West in a large nine-room house purchased with the help
of Pauline's uncle, Gus Pfeiffer. For most of the other residents, however,
Key West was less than paradise.
- Key West was once the richest city in the United States.
However, by the time the Hemingways made it their home, the average income
had plummeted to seven dollars a month. Many of the locals survived by
eating grits and grunts-small but tasty fish, abundant in the surrounding
- Julius Stone Jr., the local chief of the Federal Emergency
Relief Administration (FERA), brought in musicians and artists on the federal
payroll to spruce up the town's image as a tourist destination. He immediately
incurred the wrath of Hemingway, who accused him of reducing the islanders
to the status of beggars.
- In To Have and Have Not, Hemingway frequently
protests against the Roosevelt Administration's "alphabet agencies"
and, in The Green Hills of Africa, he laments how government welfare
programs caused "Everybody in our town [to] quit work to go on relief."
- While he frequently ventured to Cuba and elsewhere with
friends, and sometimes with other women, Pauline persevered at home with
her sons Patrick and Gregory and, during school holidays, John, Hemingway's
son from his first marriage to Hadley Richardson. In 1939, Hemingway moved
to Cuba, divorced Pauline, and married Martha Gellhorn, a writer he had
met one evening at Sloppy Joe's in Key West.
- Pauline, however, continued to live in the Whitehead
Street house and was an active member of the Key West Art & Historical
Society until her death in 1951.
- Ernest Hemingway in Later Years
- Ernest Hemingway moved to Cuba permanently at the end
of December 1939 with Martha Gellhorn, a writer whom he first met in Key
West three years earlier. The next year after he and Pauline were divorced,
he married Martha and bought an estate called Finca Vigia on a hill outside
- While based in Cuba, Hemingway fished and worked on several
writing projects including For Whom the Bell Tolls, Across the
River and into the Trees, and The Old Man and the Sea, a novel
that won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1953.
- Gellhorn ended their marriage in 1945 when she divorced
him. The next year he married his fourth wife, Mary Welsh. Hemingway lived
in Cuba for more than 20 years. During this time, he survived two plane
crashes and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. By 1955, his hard
drinking and hard living had taken a toll on his health.
- In 1959, he accepted a Life magazine assignment
to cover the bull fights in Spain, and upon his return, he and Mary bought
a house and moved to Ketchum, Idaho. The next year Hemingway was hospitalized
for depression, liver disease, hypertension, and diabetes. On July 2, 1961,
19 days before his 62nd birthday, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide with
his favorite shotgun.
- Walker Evans in Later Years
- Today, Walker Evans, along with Ansel Adams and Alfred
Stieglitz, are considered the most influential photographers of the 20th
century. Following his time in Cuba, Evans returned to New York and continued
to record the city and the people who lived in it.
- In July and August of 1936, Walker Evans and writer James
Agee, both working for Fortune magazine, arranged to stay with a
sharecropper's family in Hale County, Alabama. The book that resulted from
their research, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), is widely recognized
as one of the most important studies of American social history.
- Later, Evans was honored with an exhibit of his work
Walker Evans-American Photographs, the first exhibition devoted
to the work of a single photographer at the Museum of Modern Art. Throughout
the 1940s and 50s his photographs were published in Time and Fortune
magazines and he became staff photographer of Fortune in 1945. In
1965 Evans became Professor of Graphic Arts at Yale University. He died
at the age of 72 on April 10, 1975.
- After Havana in 1933, Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans
never corresponded nor met face to face again. Over the years, each man
would comment on the other, their friendship, and their time together-those
weeks in Havana what would have a lasting affect on each of them, and on
the great art they were destined to create.
- "None of the pictures with people is posed."
- Evans wrote these words for the dust jacket of The
Crime of Cuba. He may have used a right-angle viewfinder to capture
the real subject while giving the appearance of taking a shot of something
- He did use this technique two years later while taking
pictures in New Orleans. In 1938, he hid his camera under his overcoat
to photograph unsuspecting passengers on the New York City subway.
- One of his most famous photographs from Cuba is an elegant
black man in a white suit, standing in front of a shoeshine stand. If you
look through the viewfinder you will see how Evans was able to capture
candid pictures of his subjects.
- Ninety Miles South Lies Havana
- During the boom days of the 1920s, the nightclubs of
Havana pulsed with Latin music, gambling was a national pastime, and alcohol,
illegal in the United States, was plentiful and cheap. However, political
corruption was rampant in Havana, and the consequences of the Great Depression
led to a sharp decline of North American tourist dollars.
- By 1933, when Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans were
in Cuba, hotels and casinos were making a comeback. The city's legendary
bars, including Sloppy Joe's and the Floridita were once again filled with
thirsty revelers. It was here that these young men, whose paths had often
crossed, finally met. They spent their evenings, as Hemingway remembered,
"...working against Machado."
- A few years later, Hemingway's friend Joe Russell, opened
a Sloppy Joe's in Key West in tribute to Hemingway's favorite haunt in
Cuba that had been elevated to legendary proportions in To Have and
- Sloppy Joe's Hemingway Storage
- Shortly after Ernest Hemingway's death in 1961, his widow,
Mary came to Key West to inspect the contents of a storage room behind
Sloppy Joe's Bar on Duval Street. For more than 20 years, this room held
Hemingway's vast collection of personal effects: original manuscripts,
galley proofs, letters, telegrams, photographs, as well as bearskin rugs
and assorted animal heads.
- For over a month, Mrs. Hemingway, assisted by long time
friends, Betty and Toby Bruce, sorted through all these items. Eventually,
Mary decided to donate parts of the collection to the John F. Kennedy Library
in Boston, the Key West Art & Historical Society, and the Bruce Family.
Among the Bruce Family's collection were 46 black and white photographs
of Cuba, 44 of which are shown in this exhibition.
- Recently, Benjamin Bruce was able to identify the photographer
as Walker Evans. Further research turned up additional items that began
to establish the connection between Ernest Hemingway, Walker Evans, and
the weeks they spent together in Cuba in 1933.
- Walker Evans's First Assignment
- Walker Evans arrived in Cuba in May of 1933 on assignment
to illustrate a political book called The Crime of Cuba. Since his
return from Paris in 1927, he worked in New York at a variety of jobs to
allow him to pursue his new career in photography. His photographs were
included in several gallery exhibitions and were published in various magazines.
However, the assignment in Cuba would create his first great body of work.
- Evans's contract provided only enough money for a two-week
stay in Havana. After that he was penniless. His new friend, Ernest Hemingway,
lent him enough money to stay another week. It might seem surprising that
Evans never photographed the popular writer. He would later claim that
he disliked taking photographs of famous people: "Photographically
speaking the face of a celebrity is a cliché." However, Evans
did commemorate their meeting by taking photographs of two Havana movie
theaters that were showing the film, Adios, a las Armas (A Farewell
to Arms), directed by Frank Borzage, 1932 (Paramount Pictures).
Extended captions from the exhibition
- Walker Evans
- Citizen of Havana, 1933
- Gelatin silver print
- For the 29-year-old Walker Evans, Cuba was the adventure
of a lifetime-Havana in the 1930's, in the company of Ernest Hemingway,
and on assignment in an exciting, though admittedly dangerous, climate.
As Evans said, "I did land in Havana in the midst of a revolution."
- Walker Evans brought two cameras to Cuba. A medium-format
2 x 4 inch camera for hand-held shots and a 6 x 8 inch view camera with
a tripod. He used the smaller camera for quick, candid street scenes. For
the more static shots that required longer exposure times, he used the
larger camera set on the tripod. "None of the pictures with people
is posed," he writes. "I simply went around everywhere I could
- Photographer unknown
- Cojimar, May 1933
- Modern print
- In this photograph Hemingway is grasping the fin of a
huge marlin in the spring of 1933 on the docks in Cabanas Harbor, Cuba.
Compare this photograph to one that Walker Evans shot of the same harbor
made in May 1933, Harbor view with masted boat. In each picture
the building in the upper left is the same.
- Now look carefully at the young, dark haired man, second
from the right in this photograph. Could that be Walker Evans? Could Evans
have been present at the same time?
- Case items:
- The Fifth Column play galley
- Newspapers addressed to Hemingway
- Duck hunting decoy
- Death in the Afternoon printer's
book mock up
- Picture of gazelle trophy
- Picture of water buffalo
- Spanish leather box
- Letter to Hemingway regarding taxidermy
- Leather drinking flask
- Walker Evans's photographs:
- Stitches, 1933, gelatin silver
- Black man, 1933, gelatin
- Headshot Latino, 1933, gelatin
- Full body, 1933, gelatin
- Palm trees, 1933, gelatin
- Matador, 1933, gelatin silver
- Lottery, 1933, gelatin silver
- Among Ernest Hemingway's possessions were duck decoys,
a letter from a taxidermist asking for instructions to mount two bear hides
and skulls, souvenirs from trips to Spain, an original galley of The
Fifth Column, and 46 photographs of Cuba-of which 44 are shown in this
- Scale model of the Anita
- Designed and Constructed by
- Benjamin C. Bruce.
- Joe Russell's 32-foot motor launch, the Anita
was a sturdy fishing vessel from which to tangle with feisty marlin, tarpon,
and sailfish. Anita also made travel between Key West and Cuba very
convenient. It was large enough for accommodating several fishermen on
extended charters or for smuggling a large supply of "Hoover Gold"
during impromptu rum running excursions.
- In the spring of 1933, Hemingway charted the Anita
from Russell, who later became the owner of Sloppy Joe's bar in Key West,
for an extended jaunt to Havana. It was during that trip that Hemingway
became acquainted with Walker Evans, a chance encounter that resulted in
three weeks of carousing and camaraderie.
- During that time Evans entrusted Hemingway with 46 prints
he had made in Cuba. The writer took them back to the States aboard the
- Facsimile of Hemingway's fishing log,
- May 31, 1933
- Ernest Hemingway Collection,
- The John F. Kennedy Library
- At the bottom he writes...
- Dinner with Walker Evans
- #66, 67, & 69
- Facsimile of photograph of Walker Evans and Dorthy Butcher
- Handwritten note from Walker Evans to
- Ernest Hemingway
- Facsimile of front and back of envelope with
- Hemingway notation
- This photograph shows Evans posing with Dorothy Butcher,
a young English woman he met in one of the cable offices. In his diary
Evans writes about their conversations "...over the mahogany barrier
in your [her] office." He may have used her cable form to write this
note to Ernest Hemingway.
- The note, which begins "I have some pictures tonight..."
was left at Hemingway's hotel, the Ambos Mundos. Hemingway must have called
Evans when he read the note because his handwriting on the back of the
envelope "loaned $25.00," refers to Evans's request for a $10
or $15 loan.
- Years later, we can see wormholes through both the envelope
and note, confirming that these two items were kept together in Hemingway's
- Facsimile of 1952 letter from Hemingway
- Ernest Hemingway Collection,
- Harvard University Library
- In 1952, Hemingway writes to a mutual friend from his
home in Cuba that he doesn't remember if Evans owes him any money but
I remember clearest what a nice kid he was and takeing [sic] his pictures,
or copies of them, across in the old Anita to Key West. That's nearly twenty
- Carleton Beals
- The Crime of Cuba, 1933
- First Edition
- The Crime of Cuba folded
display cards, 1933
- In May 1933, Walker Evans traveled to Cuba on assignment
to take photographs for a political book written by Carleton Beals exposing
the brutality of the corrupt regime of Geraldo Machado.
- Evans took hundreds of photographs and submitted sixty-four
pictures. Thirty-one were used in the final publication. Ironically, Machado
fled into exile on August 12 and The Crime of Cuba was published
on August 17, 1933.
- Facsimiles of Hemingway's bills and receipts
- Facsimiles of "La Florida" drink recipes
- book cover
- "Sloppy Joe's Havana" drink book with
- facsimile of cover
- Original photographs of Betty and Toby Bruce
- with friends at Sloppy Joe's in Havana
- Maracas from Sloppy Joe's, Havana
- Havana was the Caribbean capital of tropical fun. Elegant
men and beautiful women mingled with celebrities like Ernest Hemingway
and Errol Flynn in Cuban nightclubs, cafes, and bars. They came to enjoy
exotic rum drinks, balmy nights, and Latin rhythms.
- Jose Abeal opened his bar in 1918 and friends from the
States nicknamed it "Sloppy Joe's." The name stuck and made Jose
Abeal famous. These photographs, taken during the 1930s, show Betty and
Toby Bruce with their friends at Sloppy Joe's.
Audio tour script
- WALKER EVANS HAS THE PERFECT ADVENTURE
- Photographer had a paying job, he made demands regarding
his art and those demands were met. He went to Havana the host destination
of the day. He was introduced to Hemingway but more importantly, Hemingway
wanted his company. He gave him money to extend his trip. Walker gave him
images to take back to the U.S.
- NARRATOR V.O. MALE
- In May of 1933, a young American photographer went to
Cuba. Walker Evans was, at that time, a working though not yet famous photographer.
He was there on assignment. His task was to capture images to be used in
Carlton Beals controversial book, The Crime of Cuba, a political commentary
about the events that took place under the rule of Cuba's brutal dictator,
- Music up.
- With two cameras, one a small handheld and the other
a larger format professional grade, he ventured into the streets, suburbs,
and countryside. As you can see in his photos, he had a keen interest in
people, particularly the working and lower classes.
- Perhaps due to his desire to be a writer, he met or made
contact with a variety of writers and journalists: Americans from the New
York Times and United Press as well as Cuban nationals. It was through
one of these men that Evans met his literary hero, Ernest Hemingway.
- Music fade out.
- While away from his mob, Hemingway was looking for someone
with whom he could have intelligent literary conversations, as well as
would join him in the evenings for intellectual conversations.
- Walker Evans fit the bill to a "T." Young,
passionate, and intelligent he had been an admirer of Hemingway for years.
At one point, Evans was to return to the U.S. But Hemingway did not want
to lose his companion. He persuaded Evans to change his reservations and
remain in Cuba an additional week. He then loaned the young photographer
$25 dollars, roughly a week's pay, to cover his expenses.
- For the 29-year-old Walker Evans, this was the adventure
of a lifetime. Havana in the 30's; in the company of Ernest Hemingway;
on assignment in an exciting, though admittedly dangerous political climate.
It appears this encounter, though not much discussed in later years, greatly
influenced the young artist. If prior to this trip Evans still thought
about becoming a writer, afterwards, he began referring to himself as a
- Furthermore, this brief meeting of two men of destiny
is reflected in Hemingway's work as well.
- A PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS
- NARRATOR V.O. MALE
- Music up.
- In 1962 longtime friends, Toby and Betty Bruce discovered
46 Walker Evans prints among Ernest Hemingway's possessions stored at Sloppy
Joe's since 1939. It is possible that Evans printed these photos in Cuba
and asked Ernest Hemingway to take them back to the U.S.
- Once credible theory is that due to the political nature
of some of the images, Evans wanted to ensure that copied of his work made
it to the U.S. in case his negatives were seized by Machado's officials.
- Writing of his friend, Walker Evans said "I had
a wonderful time with Hemingway. Drinking every night. He was at loose
ends and he needed a drinking companion, and I filled that role for two
- Later he described his experiences there by saying that
Cuba "is a grand place and I'd be sorry not to go there again."
- Evan's went back to Cuba only once for a brief visit
but his friend, Ernest Hemingway returned and stayed for more than twenty
- A picture speaks a thousand words. Now that you've heard
part of the story surrounding them, please explore these photos that are
cloaked in mystery. It is our privilege to present them to you, as together,
we attempt to sort it all out.
- Music fade out.
- HEMINGWAY IN CUBA
- The excitement and adventure of Cuba eventually leads
him to leave Key West and make a new home for himself.
- Music up.
- NARRATOR V.O. MALE
- Hemingway's Havana was an adventure. It was wild and
dangerous - the exciting new playground of the rich and famous.
- In contrast, Key West was fairly well along in a downward
spiral. Bankruptcy was on the horizon and soon the "Saint-Tropez of
the Poor" would simply be poor.
- Ninety miles to the south, however, lay the sweltering
pearl of the Gulf Stream: Havana. Much like Key West years before, here
was a place that appealed to the writer's sense of independence and adventure.
Bums and beggars were plentiful; corruption was the business of the day.
- During the Havana trip when he met Walker Evans, Hemingway
may have been escaping to this other, strange world. On the one hand more
dangerous, on the other more comfortable. He spent his days fishing for
the big ones and his evenings discussing literature, current news, and
- Twenty years later he described his memory of those two
weeks as "sitting in bars with Walker Evans drinking and plotting
the overthrow of Machado."
- Music fade out.
- And as always, he never stopped working on his next story.
During this trip, it appears, through what we can see in the Evans photos
that Hemingway was fleshing out the details for his next short story, "One
Trip Across." Eventually this story became the first segment of "To
Have and Have Not."
- Unfortunately, there is precious little documentation
of the details surrounding this encounter between two great artists. But
it appears through their work shown here side by side, that their influence
on each other was significant.
Object labels from the exhibition
1 Walker Evans Lottery-ticket vendors 1933 Gelatin silver
2 Walker Evans Parquet Central II (Sleeping man) 1933 Gelatin
3 Walker Evans Beggar 1933 Gelatin silver print
4 Walker Evans Street vendors 1933 Gelatin silver print
5 Walker Evans Havana: Country family 1933 Gelatin silver
6 Walker Evans Breadline 1933 Gelatin silver print
7 Walker Evans Patrol 1933 Gelatin silver print
8 Walker Evans Newsboys 1933 Gelatin silver print
9 Walker Evans Havana beggar 1933 Gelatin silver print
10 Walker Evans Courtyard kitchen 1933 Gelatin silver print
11 Walker Evans Senorita at a cafe 1933 Gelatin silver
12 Walker Evans Village of Havana poor 1933 Gelatin silver
13 Walker Evans Negro child 1933 Gelatin silver print
14 Walker Evans Old Havana house front 1933 Gelatin silver
15 Walker Evans Doorway with hanging pots and kitchenware,
Havana 1933 Gelatin silver print
16 Walker Evans People in downtown Havana, shoeshine newsstand
1933 Gelatin silver print
17 Walker Evans Havana fruit stand 1933 Gelatin silver
18 Walker Evans Street scene, people on curb 1933 Gelatin
19 Walker Evans Landscape with house 1933 Gelatin silver
20 Walker Evans Five palm trees 1933 Gelatin silver print
21 Walker Evans Overview of a market scene 1933 Gelatin
22 Walker Evans Porch with drying laundry 1933 Gelatin
23 Walker Evans Harbor view with masted boat 1933 Gelatin
24 Walker Evans Fruit cart with vendor 1933 Gelatin silver
25 Walker Evans Breadline 1933 Gelatin silver print
26 Walker Evans Man seated on a bench, rear view 1933 Gelatin
27 Walker Evans Primitive kitchen 1933 Gelatin silver print
28 Walker Evans Young man asleep in doorway 1933 Gelatin
29 Walker Evans Fruit cart with two men 1933 Gelatin silver
30 Walker Evans Tenement window 1933 Gelatin silver print
31 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment A document of terror 1933 Gelatin silver print
32 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment Corpse of Gonzales Rubiera 1933 Gelatin silver
33 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment Terrorist students in jail 1933 Gelatin silver
34 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment Street altercation with policemen 1933 Gelatin
35 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment Uniformed men 1933 Gelatin silver print
36 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment Melee with policemen and civilians 1933 Gelatin
37 Anonymous photograph copied by Evans for "Crime
of Cuba" assignment ABC note with postmortem of dead man 1933 Gelatin
39 Toby Bruce Ernest Hemingway fishing on the "Pilar"
1934-35 Modern print
40 Photographer unknown The catch 1933 Modern print
41 Photographer unknown Ernest Hemingway on the "Pilar"
1934-35 Modern print
42 Photographer unknown Cat Key, Bahamas 1935 Modern print
44 Photographer unknown Cojimar II May 1933 Modern print
45 Photographer unknown Marlin, Ernest Hemingway, and Joe
Russell June 1933 Modern print
64 Photographer unknown Hemingway and friends on the "Anita"
in Cuba 1933 Modern print
65 Photographer unknown Hemingway and friends in Cojimar
1933 Modern print
Editor's note: To contact Curatorial Assistance Traveling
Exhibitions please see http://www.curatorial.org/.
Resource Library extends its appreciation to Sandy Choi of CATE
for her help in providing supplemental texts for this article
Resource Library readers may
Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided
only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence
in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web
sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date.
TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although
TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the
content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial
or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages
see TFAO's General Resources section in
Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History. Individual
pages in this catalogue will be amended as TFAO adds content, corrects errors
and reorganizes sections for improved readability. Refreshing or reloading
pages enables readers to view the latest updates.
Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional
source by visiting the sub-index page for the Emerson
Gallery at Hamilton College in Resource
Visit the Table
of Contents for Resource Library for thousands
of articles and essays on American art.
Copyright 2007 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights