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Parade – Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955

Parade – Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955
gelatin silver print, printed 1970s
signed, titled and dated in ink (margin); signed and dated '1979' in copyright credit stamp and stamped Robert Frank Archive with numbers '1' and '716' in pencil (verso)
image: 9 x 13 3/4 in. (22.9 x 35 cm.)
sheet: 11 x 14 in. (28 x 35.7 cm.)
Sotheby's, New York, September 30, 2014, lot 145;
acquired from the above by the present owner.
Robert Frank, Les Américains, Delpire, Paris, 1958, pl. 1, p. 7.
Robert Frank, The Americans, Grove Press, New York, 1959, pl. 1, n.p., and in all subsequent editions.
Minor White (ed.), Robert Frank, Aperture, vol. 9, no. 1, 1961, p. 6.
Willy Rotzler, 'Robert Frank,' Du, vol. 22, no. 1, Zurich, January 1962, p. 16.
John Szarkowski, The Photographer's Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1966, p. 155.
Robert Frank, The Lines of My Hand, Yugensha, Tokyo, 1972, p. 57, and in each of the subsequent variant editions.
Martin Mann, Documentary Photography: Time Life Library of Photography, New York, 1972, p. 168.
Robert Frank, Robert Frank: The Aperture History of Photography Series, Aperture Foundation, New York, 1976, cover.
John Szarkowski, Photography Until Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1989, p. 258.
Sarah Greenough et al., Robert Frank: Moving Out, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 175.
Peter Galassi, American Photography, 1890-1965, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995, p. 215.
Peter Galassi, Walker Evans & Company, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2000, pl. 316.
Ian Penman, Robert Frank: Storylines, Tate Modern, London, 2004, frontispiece 3.
Sarah Greenough, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2009, cover, pp. 211 and 460 and contact no. 1.
Peter Galassi, Robert Frank, In America, Steidl, Göttingen, 2014, p. 107.

Brought to you by

Rebecca Jones
Rebecca Jones

Lot Essay

Following his dual, consecutive Guggenheim Fellowships in 1955 and 1956, Robert Frank began crisscrossing the country, capturing scenes of Post-War America he felt were absent from mainstream depictions. Parade Hoboken, New Jersey is the opening photograph of the resulting publication, The Americans, first published in 1958 in France and the following year by Grove Press in New York. The American flag appears four times across the eighty-two images that comprise The Americans, rendering four interpretations of the flag, and more so, its changing position as an icon of national identity.

Parade Hoboken depicts two women obscured by the American flag, presenting a deeply critical (even if nuanced) interpretation of national identity. Taken during a celebration of the city of Hoboken’s centennial in March of 1955, the two women, despite standing a few feet apart, are oblivious to the other’s presence, each one framed by a brick wall. While one woman’s face is recessed in shadowed, the other’s is completely blocked by the billowing flag, her identity forever hidden. Frank commented that, 'This is a picture of two people who were standing behind one of the flags… They’re sort of hiding. . . [it is] a threatening picture.' As the opening image in his grand opus, this image set the tone for the rest of the book, cementing its role as one of the greatest of Frank’s images.
Other prints of this image reside in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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