In 1935, Evans was hired as an information specialist by the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which developed aid programs for impoverished farmers during the Depression years. FSA photographers were assigned to document small-town life and their images were subsequently used as evidence of the extreme poverty in rural United States. It was during this time that Evans created his most important and significant work, partly for the FSA and partly with the writer, James Agee, for 'Fortune'. The latter project resulted in the groundbreaking book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men' (1941). Evans' powerfully uncomplicated images of rural tenant farmers, and the sites and relics of their meagre existence, soon became iconic.
Evans continued to work for FSA until 1938. His captivating images earned him the first exhibition of a solo photographers work ever to be held at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
In 1976, just months after Walker Evans' death, the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford staged a major exhibition of his photographs. In addition to prints from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and from the Estate of Walker Evans, the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford acquired photographs from the Library of Congress, Washington. Although he didn't live to see the final show, Evans' himself was closely involved in the planning of this exhibition.