Robert Frank, ‘Luncheonette—Butte, Montana’, 1956-printed no later than 1969, Phillips

From the Catalogue:
This large print of Luncheonette—Butte, Montana was shown in The Photographs of Robert Frank, the important exhibition of Frank’s work which opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1969 and traveled to four other venues through 1971. The exhibition celebrated the publication of the 1969 edition of The Americans by Aperture and was curated by Aperture’s Michael Hoffman, also an adjunct curator at the Museum. This was the largest exhibition of Frank’s work to date, and was drawn almost exclusively from The Americans. According to Frank authority Sarah Greenough, the exhibition was notable for the size and quality of the prints. She writes: “Printed by Frank and the photographer Sid Kaplan, these photographs were larger than those he had made for his 1962 exhibition at MoMA and even more lush. Because of their size, the graphic strength of these images became far more apparent, as details that were lost in the approximately 4-by-7-inch or 8-by-5-inch reproductions in the book assumed much greater prominence and authority and were often transformed into bold, abstract forms. In addition, the luminosity and the sense that light was emanating from within the images was greatly magnified” (Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans, p. 317).
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Signed and dated in ink on the reverse of the Masonite flush-mount.

The Photographs of Robert Frank, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 16 May – 29 June 1969, and traveling to the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut; Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Hopkins Art Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; and Colgate College, Hamilton, New York, through 1971

The Americans, no. 41
Greenough, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, p. 260

Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

About Robert Frank

One of the most acclaimed photographers of the 20th century, Robert Frank is best known for his seminal book The Americans, featuring photographs taken by the artist in the mid-1950s as he traveled across the U.S. on a Guggenheim fellowship. These photographs feature glimpses of highways, cars, parades, jukeboxes, and diners as iconic symbols of America while simultaneously suggesting an underlying sense of alienation and hardship. Frank’s loose, casual approach often generated blurred imagery and tilted horizons, causing his photographic style to be as controversial as his subject matter. In the 1950s, Frank was a regular contributor to Harper’s Bazaar, but later turned his focus from still images to filmmaking, creating classics of American subculture such as Pull My Daisy (1959).

American, b. 1924, Zurich, Switzerland