“That crazy feeling in America when the sun is hot on the streets and music comes out of the jukebox or from a nearby funeral, that’s what Robert Frank has captured in the tremendous photographs taken as he traveled on the road around practically forty-eight states in an old used car (on Guggenhiem Fellowship) and with the agility, mystery, genius, sadness, and strange secrecy of a shadow photographed scenes that have never been seen before on film.” – Jack Kerouac, from his Introduction to The Americans.
Robert Frank Captures America in the 50s
In 1955, the Swiss photographer Robert Frank traveled throughout the United States by car and returned with a bleak portrait of what the American road had to offer. As Kerouac writes in his introduction, Frank’s photographs had “sucked a sad, sweet, poem out of America”, a sadness found in the forlorn looks of dime store waitresses, funeral attendees, and human faces rendered unrecognizable in the glare of jukeboxes. The slightly offset angles and the blurred focus of many of the photographs suggest the n ervousness and dislocation of the people they capture. Frank dispels any romantic notions of the lingering pioneer spirit of America by presenting a landscape of people and places absent of hope and promise.
Slide 1: Frank New Orleans(image not found)
Slide 2: Frank New York(image not found)
Slide 3: Frank US 66
Slide 4: Frank Parade
Slide 5: Charleston South Carolina