This exhibition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Americans, Robert Frank's influential suite of black-and-white photographs made on a cross-country road trip in 1955–56. Although Frank's depiction of American life was criticized when the book was released in the U.S. in 1959, it soon became recognized as a masterpiece of street photography. Born in Switzerland in 1924, Frank is considered one of the great living masters of photography. The exhibition features all eighty-three photographs published in The Americans and is the first time that this body of work is presented to a New York audience. In addition, the exhibition includes contact sheets that Frank used to create the book; earlier photographs made in Europe, Peru, and New York; a short film by the artist on his life; and his later re-use of iconic images from the series.
The exhibition is made possible by Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
Additional support is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.