Robert Frank - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • This image appears in the photographer’s first planned book of photographs, Black White and Things. Illustrated with actual photographs, and produced in an edition of only 3 maquettes, Black White and Things represented a deepening of Frank’s understanding of presenting images in a sequence and is a direct precursor to his masterwork, The Americans, produced later in the decade. The book is broken into three sections indicated by the title. ‘Doll/New York’ (here titled ‘San Gennaro Festival’) appears in the Things section, along with similarly evocative photographs of a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, a table by the sea in Mallorca, and a horse-drawn cart in Paris. Black White and Things was formally published in 1994 by the National Gallery of Art from Frank’s original 1952 maquette. 

    • Provenance

      Sotheby's, New York, 2 November 1989, lot 634

    • Literature

      Frank, Black White and Things, p. 25
      Scalo, HOLD STILL_keep going, p. 27

    • 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.

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Photographs from a Prominent New York Collection


San Gennaro Festival

Gelatin silver print.
13 3/8 x 8 1/2 in. (34 x 21.6 cm)
Signed in ink and the 'Robert Frank Archive' and copyright credit stamps on the reverse of the flush-mount.

Full Cataloguing

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $6,350

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023