Robert Frank was born in 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland. From 1941 Frank embarked on a series of apprenticeships as a photographer’s assistant in his home country. Moving to New York in 1947, Frank was soon hired by Alexey Brodovtich as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, which bought with it opportunity to travel. The United States made such an impression on Frank that, after receiving his first Guggenheim Fellowship in 1955, Frank embarked on his two-year trip across America. In 1959 Frank began making films and in 1972, documented the Rolling Stones on tour which is today probably his most well know film. Frank’s photography and films have been the subject of exhibitions worldwide since Edward Steichen first included Frank’s photographs in the 1950 group show 51 American Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Frank was given his first solo show by the Art Institute of Chicago in 1961 and others soon followed. More recent exhibitions include “Robert Frank: Storylines” at Tate Modern, London in 2004, “Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans” which opened at National Gallery of Art, Washington in 2009 and then travelled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Frank has received many honours and his work is now held in numerous collections worldwide including Art Institute of Chicago; Maison European de la Photographie, Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Tate Modern, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 1990 the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., established the Robert Frank Collection. Numerous monographs of Frank’s work exist, including The Americans (1958, 1959), New York to Nova Scotia (1986), London/Wales (2003), to name a few. Robert Frank passed away in 2019.
Read "Robert Frank: The Man Who Saw America" published in the New York Times in Summer 2015, written by Nicholas Dawidoff: