The Americans

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In 1955 with funding secured from the Guggenheim Foundation, Robert Frank set off to photograph America, 35mm Leica camera and Ford Business Coupe in tow. Of the 27,000 images Frank shot on his journey documenting the nation, 83 black-and-white photographs were chosen for his seminal monograph The Americans. Published in 1959 with an introduction by beatnik legend Jack Kerouac, the collection has had seismic effects on American art and culture to this day. Frank’s haunting images reveal a nation troubled by racism, classism, and an American dream that remains stubbornly inaccessible for many. The Americans inspired a generation of street photographers in the 1960s and ’70s who prioritized chance encounters and the universal narratives they could reveal through their subjects.

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