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Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans" Exhinition Inspires Public Programs at National Gallery of Art, Washington, January 18 through April 26, 2009

Washington, DC—A range of public programs offered by the National Gallery of Art will provide a rich context for visitors to Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans", on view January 18 through April 26, 2009. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans—a time capsule of 1950s America on the brink of massive social and political change—this exhibition includes 228 photographs, books, manuscripts, and contact sheets, as well as a short film created by Frank and three large collages to which he contributed.

All programs are free. For more information, call (202) 737-4215, visit the Web site at, or inquire at the Information Desks.

Elson Lecture

Thursday, March 26, at 3:30 p.m.
A Conversation with Robert Frank
East Building Auditorium
Robert Frank, photographer, in conversation with Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

Sunday Lecture

January 18 at 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Transforming Destiny into Awareness: Robert Frank's "The Americans"
Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

Public Symposium

Robert Frank and the Photographic Book, 1930-1960
Saturday, January 24, 1:00–5:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Illustrated lectures by noted scholars, including Stephen Brooke, Martin Gasser, Olivier Lugon, and Alan Trachtenberg.

Gallery Talks

Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans" (50 minutes)
Sally Shelburne, lecturer: January 28, February 1 and 11, and March 4 and 25 at 1:00 p.m.; March 11 at 2:00 p.m.
Diane Arkin, lecturer: February 23, 24, 26 and April 3, 6, 8, 13, 15, 17, 20 at 12:00 noon; April 1, 22 at 1:00 p.m.
Meet at the West Building Information Desk.

Film Programs
East Building Auditorium

An American Journey
North American premiere
January 18 at 12:30p.m. (additional screenings in April, times TBD)

Fifty years after The Americans, French filmmaker Philippe Séclier retraces Frank's trip around the U.S. in 1955 and 1956. In his 15,000-mile odyssey through present-day America, using the same unplanned, intuitive approach that Frank pioneered, and working with only a small digital camera, Séclier explores the spirit of the Beat Generation and the impact of The Americans on photography and culture. (2008, 60 minutes)

Fire in the East: A Portrait of Robert Frank
April 1, 2, 3 at 12:30 p.m.
An early documentary by Philip Brookman, Fire in the East: A Portrait of Robert Frank presents an intimate view of four decades of Frank's life, films, and photographs. Footage with Allen Ginsberg, Emile de Antonio, Jonas Mekas, and Rudy Wurlitzer provides valuable insights. (1986, 28 minutes)

Robert Frank film series
Saturday, April 18, at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25, at 1:30 p.m.

The recent works of photographer Robert Frank in moving images are shown on the final two weekends of the exhibition. The program includes, among others, The Present (1996), Flamingo (1997), I Remember (1998), Paper Route (2002), and True Story (2004), and Tunnel (2005).

The Rebel Set: Film and the Beat Legacy film series
This six-part series surveys important yet seldom seen works by many key personalities of the Beat Generation, including Robert Frank, John Cassavetes, Shirley Clarke, Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Ken Jacobs, and Jonas Mekas.

Saturday, January 17, at 2:30 p.m.
Beat (Christopher Maclaine, 1958)
The End (Christopher Maclaine, 1953)
Cry of Jazz (Edward O. Bland, 1958)

Saturday, January 17, at 4:00 p.m.
Pull My Daisy (Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, 1959)
The Savage Eye (Bed Maddow, Joseph Strick, Sidney Meyers, 1959)

Sunday, January 18, at 4:30 p.m.
Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1959)
Bridges-Go-Round (Shirley Clarke, 1958)

Sunday, January 25, at 4:30 p.m.
Short films by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie, Ken Jacobs (1953 to 1964)

Saturday, January 31, at 2:00 p.m.
Echoes of Silence (Peter Emmanuel Goldman, 1965)
Happy Birthday to John (Jonas Mekas, 1972)

Saturday, January 31, at 4:00 p.m.
He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (Jonas Mekas, 1985)


The Gallery's 63rd American Music Festival will be presented in honor of Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans." Concerts of American music by Frank's contemporaries, including David Amram, who collaborated with Frank and Jack Kerouac in creating Pull My Daisy, are scheduled for each of the Wednesdays in March 2009 in the West Building Lecture Hall. Admission is free, and seating begins at 12:00 noon.

March 4
David Amram, composer and pianist
Music by Amram

March 11
Peter Vinograde, pianist
Music by Corigliano, Flagello, Hutcheson, Laufer, Ruggles, and Zuckerman

March 18
Jessica Krash, pianist, and the National Gallery String Quartet
World premiere of new work by Krash and music by mid-20th-century composers

March 25
New York Chamber Soloists
Music by Berger, Persichetti, Piston, and Powell

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.