The Road Trip That Changed Everything

Robert Frank's The Americans turns 50

Driving an old Ford cross country between 1955-56, Robert Frank snapped whatever caught his eye, from Detroit factory workers to New York transvestites. The result was his influential masterpiece The Americans, a book credited with changing the direction of photography itself. This year may be the 50th anniversary of The Americans, but in the past half century Frank’s 83 black and white images have lost none of their power—what Patti Smith describes as their “sense of beauty, grit, and revolution.” The full series will be shown in an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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