ROBERT FRANK (1924–2019)
ROBERT FRANK (1924–2019)
ROBERT FRANK (1924–2019)
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Property from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sold to Benefit Collections Care
ROBERT FRANK (1924–2019)

Charleston, South Carolina, 1955

ROBERT FRANK (1924–2019)
Charleston, South Carolina, 1955
gelatin silver print, printed c. 1977
signed in ink (margin); with Metropolitan Museum of Art deaccession stamp (verso)
image: 9 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (24.1 x 35.9 cm.)
sheet: 12 x 16 in. (30.4 x 40.6 cm.)
Pace MacGill Gallery, New York;
Anonymous Gifts, 1986.
Robert Frank, Les Américains, Delpire, Paris, 1958, no. 13.
Robert Frank, The Americans, Grove Press, New York, 1959, no. 13, and in all subsequent editions.
Sarah Greenough, Robert Frank: Moving Out, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 197.
Sarah Greenough, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2009, p. 225.
Peter Galassi, Robert Frank, In America, Iris & B. Gerald Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University/Steidl, Gottingen, 2014, p. 132.

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Rebecca Jones
Rebecca Jones Associate Vice President, Specialist, Head of Department

Lot Essay

It was the first time I was in the South, and the first time I really saw segregation. I found it extraordinary that whites would give their children to black women when they wouldn't allow the women to sit by them in the drugstore. I did very few pictures that made a political point like this. – Robert Frank

When Frank applied to the Guggenheim Foundation for his scholarship, he stated that his intention was to ‘photograph freely throughout the United States, in order to make ‘a broad, voluminous picture record of things American, past and present’, and that the project would be ‘the visual study of a civilization’.

Emigrating from Switzerland, Frank was an outsider to this ‘civilization’, and undoubtedly this distance helped him capture so uncannily the endemic alienation and racism of postwar America.

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