Homework #9 Understanding Robert Frank

Robert Frank’s collection of 83 photographs in book titled “The American’s”, is an interesting look at how he personally viewed his country. In his collection, photographs of poverty, racial division, and banal day to day life of Americans were depicted. I do find his photographs to be artistic because there is meaning behind every single picture. I don’t think Frank took these photographs for us to understand why he took them, i think they were meant for his personal understanding of what was going on around him. He wanted to understand the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and hows. Like stated in the clip of the Exhibition by curator Peter Galassi, Frank wanted to understand his people. A perfect example is the photograph of the White-American baby being held by the African-American woman. Frank wanted to understand how could a mother trust this black woman with her child but completely disregard the same black woman in public. Frank photographed pictures of the everyday lives of Americans which seem rather boring. In the photos these people rarely make eye contact nor smile, mainly because they were taken off guard. It was also stated that Americans weren’t content with how they viewed themselves which i think is still a present day issue. We as Americans are too wrapped up in our everyday lives that if and when we are photographed off guard we might even seem a bit unhappy much like the photographs in Franks book.

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