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Image of Bar — Detroit

Robert Frank , (Nov 9, 1924–Sept 9, 2019)

Bar — Detroit

1955-1956
9 1/8 in. x 13 11/16 in. (23.18 cm x 34.77 cm)

Medium and Support: gelatin silver print
Credit Line: museum purchase
Accession Number: 1989.77.37

Commentary

First published in France in 1958, then in the United States in 1959 at the height of the cold war, Robert Frank’s The Americans is one of the most important and influential photography books of the twentieth century. The Addison is one of only three American museums to own a complete set of these compelling images.

In 1955-56, a Guggenheim Fellowship allowed Frank, a Swiss-born photographer, to travel throughout the United States with the goal of creating a book of photographs that he described as a “visual study of a civilization.” An outsider looking in, Frank’s dark and grainy photographs reveal his ambivalence toward his new country. Edited down from thousands, the eighty-three carefully sequenced photographs are a raw and insightful documentation of a country in transition, both celebrating its strengths and exposing the cracks in the veneer of hope and optimism that defined postwar culture. As Jack Kerouac wrote in the introduction to the book, “Robert Frank, Swiss, unobtrusive, nice, with that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand, he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film.”

Allison Kemmerer
Curator of Photography and Contemporary Art

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Related Parent(s) Click a record to view
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The Americans

1989.77.1-84

Related Siblings(s) Click a record to view
Image of New York City
New York City

1989.77.12
Image of Butte, Montana
Butte, Montana

1989.77.15
Image of Los Angeles
Los Angeles

1989.77.61
Image of San Francisco
San Francisco

1989.77.72
Image of Detroit
Detroit

1989.77.78
Image of Chicago
Chicago

1989.77.79
Image of Indianapolis
Indianapolis

1989.77.82

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