Robert Frank Essay

2622 Words Dec 8th, 2015 11 Pages
Robert Frank - The Americans

Early History:

Robert Frank was born on November 9, 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland. He is best known for his documentary photography book The Americans however he has released additional books and documentary films as well.

Robert Frank was raised into a wealthy Jewish family, his father of German decent and a photographer as well, and a Swiss mother coming from money. In an interview that Frank gave to the NY Times, he stated, ‘‘My father married my mother because of money. It became the most important thing in order for them to feel good. If my father had a good day, dinner would end and my father would take out his wallet and give my mother 100 Swiss francs." (DAWIDOFF)

At the time of
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The acceptable pictures then were sharp and technically excellent. But the pictures of Robert Frank were very different." (DAWIDOFF)

In October 1954, with the guidance of Walker Evans, Frank applied for a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, proposing to drive across the United States photographing American life.

Guggenheim Fellowship:

In 1955, we has awarded the fellowship to which that summer, he proceeded with himself, his wife, and their two children in a 10,000 mile trek across America to document his journey. While in the first leg of his travels, he visited Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and eventually making it to California around the holidays.

[pic] (National Gallery of Art)

The map above charts the three routes driven by Frank during the period of his Guggenheim fellowship.

Red: late June – mid-July 1955
Gold: summer 1955
Blue: October 1955 – early June 1956

After this first crossing of the country, Frank would eventually apply for a renewal of his fellowship, this of which was approved, and he drove back to New York across the northern part of the country that he had missed. During this leg, he traveled through Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania again, and then
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