Robert Frank - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver

  • Literature

    Green, American Photography: A Critical History, 1945 to the Present, p. 90
    National Gallery of Art, Washington/Steidl, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, p. 236
    Scalo, The Americans, pl. 22

  • Catalogue Essay

    “This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough - there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.”
    -Robert Frank

    As one of the most astute observers of the discrepancies underlying the social, cultural, political, economic, and perhaps most notably—racial relations in 1950s America, Robert Frank’s compilation of 83 images in The Americans collectively expose a narrative that heretofore had been considered taboo. In Café-Beaufort, South Carolina, an African American baby crawls toward a jukebox, an emblem of American leisurely pastime and 50’s Pop culture. The tension between the baby and the jukebox is palpable, reminding viewers of the racial hierarchy that still typified the country at the time. The tender age of the subject alludes to the inherited intergenerational legacy of the racial dynamic, one that Frank subtly captured under his lens.

  • Artist Biography

    Robert Frank

    Swiss • 1924

    As one of the leading visionaries of mid-century American photography, Robert Frank has created an indelible body of work, rich in insight and poignant in foresight. In his famed series The Americans, Frank travelled the United States, capturing the parade of characters, hierarchies and imbalances that conveyed his view of the great American social landscape.

    Frank broke the mold of what was considered successful documentary photography with his "snapshot aesthetic." It is Frank's portrayal of the United States through grit and grain that once brought his work to the apex of criticism, but has now come to define the art of documentary photography.

    View More Works


Café, Beaufort, South Carolina

Gelatin silver print, printed 1977.
11 1/2 x 17 3/8 in. (29.2 x 44.1 cm)
Signed, titled and dated in ink in the margin; credited, annotated 'Americans 22' in an unidentified hand in pencil on the verso.

$30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for $32,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs
+1 212 940 1245


New York 30 September & 1 October 2013