The Guggenheim Trip, 1955–1957
In October 1954, with the guidance of Walker Evans, Frank applied for a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, proposing to drive across the United States photographing American life.
He was awarded the fellowship and in the summer of 1955 began his 10,000-mile journey with a trip to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. He then traveled with Mary down the East Coast, photographing in North and South Carolina and Georgia. That fall he drove to Florida, and from there he crossed the country, through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada, arriving in California around Christmas. While in California, Frank applied for a renewal of the Guggenheim fellowship. When it was granted in April 1956, he drove a northern route back to New York, passing through Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The map below charts the three routes driven by Frank during the period of his Guggenheim fellowship.
Red: late June – mid-July 1955
Gold: summer 1955
Blue: October 1955 – early June 1956
A dotted line indicates an unconfirmed route.