50th Anniversary of Robert Frank's The Americans at the Met

Robert Frank, Charleston, S.C. , silver print, 1955; printed 1970s.
Estimate: $7,000 to $10,000. At auction October 22, 2009.

On September 22nd “Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans” opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition celebrates the book’s 50th anniversary, and all 83 photographs published in this seminal work of photographic literature will be on display.

Popular pictures of the 1950s show fresh-faced youths hanging out in soda shops and middle-class families enjoying the good life. But, the squeaky-clean images associated with the Eisenhower years only portrayed a small part of the story. Robert Frank’s classic photobook, The Americans–the result of a year-long road trip during which he took more than 20,000 images–reveals a different society, one in the midst of a dramatic transition.

Frank was critiqued for what was then perceived as an unflattering picture of our culture. Today he’s recognized for presenting a new narrative of American life that is authentic and innovative.

Labels: , , , , ,