When Walker Evan photographed Robert Lowell and Caroline Blackwood picnicking on the grass, he was aware of the couple’s tension. He wrote to a friend, “I think they do a lot for each other, and it is a great pleasure to see.” But hinting there was more to tell, he did not follow through. From others, we know Lowell and Blackwood’s relationship was punctuated by bouts of manic romance and hostile altercations; intense depression (especially his) and alcoholism (especially hers).

Featured Image: Just another loving couple on the grass. Walker Evans. Robert Lowell and Caroline Blackwood picnicking in Kent (August 1973). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art Walker Evens Archive

See: Walker’s unpublished letter is quoted in Nancy Shoenberger. Dangerous Muse: The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood. New York: Talese/Doubleday, 2001; Belinda Rathbone. Walker Evans, A Biography. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Rathborne assumes Blackwood and Evans had been lovers long ago, but had remained friends, a trait Blackwood seems to have cultivated.