In 1971, Walker Evans partnered with the fine art publishing firm of Ives-Sillman to produce a fourteen-print portfolio showcasing his work from the 1930s. He selected this print as a representative of the work he did in Cuba, where he went to shoot accompanying photos for Carleton Beals' book The Crime of Cuba. Even early on, Evans' sense of independence as a photographer was clear. “I said I wanted to be left alone. I wanted nothing to do with the book. I'm not illustrating a book. I'd just like to just go down there and make some pictures but don't tell me what to do. So I never read the book,” Evans recounted in a 1971 interview about the experience. He would later make essentially the same demands of his other employers.
With Evans' supervision, Ives-Sillman produced an edition of eighty-eight portfolios of gelatin silver prints. In both this and another portfolio, produced by the Double Elephant Press in 1974, Evans looked back over his career taking the opportunity to select and re-edit familiar images. In 1971, retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art and the Yale University Art Gallery did much the same work with a broader brush—MoMA's exhibition showcased an astonishing 200 photographs.