King Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Artist Details

Name: Peter Sekaer
Birth: 1901 Death: 1950
Nationality: American

Artwork Details

Date of Work: 1936
Period:
Type:
Medium: gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 7 1/4
Credit: Museum purchase

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sekaer arrived in New York in 1918 seeking freedom and opportunity.  By 1922, he had a reputation as a master sign painter, and  enrolled at the Art Students League. He became involved in the New York art scene, befriending, among others, the artist Ben Shahn (1898 – 1969) and the photographer Walker Evans (1903 – 1975). Soon, Sekaer changed his focus from painting to photography, and in 1934, he studied under Berenice Abbott (1898 – 1991) at the New School for Social Research.

In 1936, Sekaer accompanied Walker Evans on a trip to the Southeast to assist Evans who was employed as a photographer by the Farm Securities Administration (FSA). They roamed struggling farmsteads and poverty-stricken slums, dutifully recording the state of the union. Later that year, Sekaer was hired as a photographer for the Rural Electrification Administration, and in 1938, he worked for the United States Housing Authority (USHA), at which time he returned to Charleston for a second visit.

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