You must plan to see this exhibition at one of its three forthcoming venues (see traveling schedule below).
From the exhibition’s website:
“First published in France in 1958 and in the United States in 1959, Robert Frank’s The Americans is widely celebrated as the most important photography book since World War II. Including 83 photographs made largely in 1955 and 1956 while Frank (b. 1924) traveled around the United States, the book looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a profound sense of alienation, angst, and loneliness. With these prophetic photographs, Frank redefined the icons of America, noting that cars, jukeboxes, gas stations, diners, and even the road itself were telling symbols of contemporary life. Frank’s style—seemingly loose, casual compositions, with often rough, blurred, out-of-focus foregrounds and tilted horizons—was just as controversial and influential as his subject matter. The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication by presenting all 83 photographs from The Americans in the order established by the book, and by providing a detailed examination of the book’s roots in Frank’s earlier work, its construction, and its impact on his later art.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art.
Sponsor: Access Industries is proud to be the principal sponsor of the exhibition.
The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Trellis Fund.
Early support for research was provided by the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation.
The exhibition catalogue is published with the assistance of The Getty Foundation.
–>Schedule: National Gallery of Art, January 18–April 26, 2009; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, May 16–August 23, 2009; Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 22–December 27, 2009
Passes: Passes are not required for this exhibition.
The exhibition is on view in the West Building, Ground Floor, Outer tier.”
Today on NPR’s Weekend Edition there was a terrific piece on Frank and “THE BOOK THAT CHANGED PHOTOGRAPHY” interviewing Frank, curator Sarah Greenough, and Joel Meyerowitz and more; listen to it here
Greenough is the author of the accompanying publication:
“Published alongside the softcover edition, Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans”—Expanded Edition includes a wealth of additional materials, essential information for all interested in twentieth-century photography. It contains all of the essays and photographs in the softcover, plus all of Frank’s vintage contact sheets related to The Americans, a section that re-creates his preliminary sequence and presents variant croppings of the first and subsequent editions of the book, a map and chronology of his travels around the United States in 1955 – 1956 on his Guggenheim fellowship, along with letters and manuscript materials by Frank, Walker Evans, and Jack Kerouac related to Frank’s creation of this seminal book. This groundbreaking 528-page catalogue is certain to be the definitive source of information on The Americans for years to come.
528 pages, 108 color, 168 tritone, 210 duotone plates | 9.25 x 11.5 inches”