Richard Frank 's Photographic Masterpiece, The Americans, By Robert Frank

1142 Words Dec 5th, 2016 5 Pages
When Robert Frank published his photographic masterpiece, The Americans, his collection of images was met with widespread criticism. Challenging not only the documentary tradition and the aesthetic of photography, Frank’s blurry exposures uprooted the very fabric of America. Traveling the roads of the United States from 1955-1957, Frank took over 28,000 images, depicting every strata of American society, from the assembly line of Detroit, to the opulence of Hollywood. Overall, through the lens of Frank’s camera, the viewer is given a collection of images, which directly undermine popular understanding of 1950s America. In a mere eighty-three images, Robert Frank tells a story of renewal and rebirth, of struggles, and hope, and of the very nature of America.
Emerging from the Second World War, and amidst the Cold War, America during the 1950s, projected itself as a unified country seeking to be the forbearers of Western democracy. Saturating television, radio, newspapers, and magazines with images of suburban neighborhoods, wholesome families, and middle class success, society crafted a sense of conservativity, unity, and safety. However, as seen in Frank’s, The Americans, 1950s America was anywhere near the image it projected itself to be. Rather than supplying his audience with images of cookie cutter homes, doting mothers, and loving fathers, Frank floods the viewers minds, with stirring photographs of violence, alienation, and loneliness. “...he’s always taking…
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