Robert Frank


In 2009, Kazuhiko Motomura (a Japanese tax officer and longtime Robert Frank fan) published a portfolio of the complete contact sheets from Frank’s legendary photography book, The Americans, first published in France in 1958 and in the US a year later. The Swiss–born photographer documented a wide swath of the American experience—black and white, wealthy and working class, urban and rural—in factories, diners, and parks, during the daytime and at night. Frank developed eighty-one rolls of film (out of a total of 767 shot during his travels), from which he selected eighty-three images for the book. Studying the contact sheets, complete with red editing notations and selections, offers a fascinating opportunity to think about what Frank saw and experienced during his two-year journey. —Leigh Anne Miller


Pictured: Robert Frank: The Americans, contact sheet #6, lithographic print, 18 by 15 inches. Courtesy Danziger Gallery, New York.