Robert Frank, Parade - Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955 (Private Collection, San Francisco), image courtesy of National Gallery of Art
In fact, the book was first published in France, in a 1958 edition, and the French are marking the anniversary, too. As reported by Michel Guerrin (Dans les pas de Robert Frank, March 12) for Le Monde, Philippe Séclier screened a new documentary about the 20th-century de Toqueville's American trips, Un Voyage américain at the Musée du Jeu de paume in Paris earlier this month. Although Frank himself, still alive but something of a recluse, did not accept an interview for the film, Séclier spoke to everyone involved in the production of the book that he could, as well as traveling the United States by car, retracing Frank's steps and shooting footage in the places where Frank took the book's photographs. You can listen to the director speak to Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the NGA's department of photographs, on this podcast. The museum screened the film on January 18, while I was in Miami.
Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans continues at the National Gallery of Art through April 26. It will then travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (May 16 to August 23) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (September 22 to December 27).
Robert Frank, Streetcar - New Orleans