Release Date: September 13, 2019
National Gallery of Art Presents Special Installation of Photographs by Robert Frank
Washington, DC—In memory of Robert Frank, who died at age 94 on September 9, 2019, the National Gallery of Art has organized a special installation of five of the influential artist’s photographs in the East Building, Concourse, on view beginning September 17. Drawn from the Gallery’s collection of his work, the largest in the world, the installation presents photographs made between 1952 and 1993 that show the evolution of Frank’s art—from his groundbreaking early images that evocatively captured his response to the world around him to his later diaristic pictures that pushed the boundaries of contemporary photography.
Included in the installation are two of his most celebrated early pictures: London (1952–1953), of a child running away from a hearse, and Trolley—New Orleans (1955), his poignant yet searing depiction of racism from his seminal book The Americans. Also displayed are three of his later pictures: Hold Still—Keep Going (1989), which alludes to the ways in which photography seeks to hold back the passage of time; End of Dream (1992), a unique composite work consisting of multiple color and black-and-white prints made at his home in Nova Scotia; and New York City, 7 Bleecker Street (1993), a self-portrait he made for the Gallery’s 1994 exhibition Robert Frank: Moving Out.
Robert Frank (1924–2019)
Robert Frank was one of the most influential photographers of all time. Born in Switzerland in 1924, he emigrated to the United States in 1947, where he lived for most of the rest of his life. His 1959 book The Americans, with an introduction by Jack Kerouac, is one of the most influential photography books of the 20th century. It looked beneath the surface of life in the United States to reveal a country plagued by racism, ill served by its politicians, and rendered numb from a culture of consumerism that promised great choice but offered little satisfaction. But Frank also saw novel areas of beauty in the country—in its cars, diners, and even the road itself; in its music; and in those on the margins of its society. After the book’s publication Frank turned to filmmaking, helping to initiate a new era in independent American cinema with such works as Pull My Daisy (1959), The Sin of Jesus (1961), and Me and My Brother (1969). In the 1970s he and his second wife, the painter and sculptor June Leaf, began to divide their time between New York City and Mabou, Nova Scotia, where Frank made both films and still photographs. Often scratching into his negatives and painting on his prints, his later photographs, which are very different from his earlier work, looked inward, focusing on his life in New York and Nova Scotia with June, and on the loss of his two children, Andrea and Pablo.
In 1990 Frank selected the Gallery to be the repository of his work, giving to the museum all of his negatives, contact sheets, and work prints related to The Americans, as well as numerous exhibition prints from throughout his life and several hand-bound volumes of photographs. The Gallery has mounted two monographic exhibitions of his art: Robert Frank: Moving Out (1994), which traveled internationally, and Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans (2009), which traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Anabeth Guthrie, (202) 842-6804 or [email protected]
General InformationThe National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.
Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Chief of Communications
The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.
Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or [email protected]
RSS (NEWS FEED)