Finding the Photographer, Robert Frank, Online

The cover image for the U.S. edition of “The Americans,” Robert Frank’s epochal book, spoke volumes about the state of the nation in the mid-1950s. The tightly-cropped photo shows passengers in the windows of a New Orleans trolley assuming their place in the social order of the Jim Crow South — progressing from a black woman in the rear to white children and adults up front (slide 4).

Robert Frank Trolley. NewOrleans,1955
Robert Frank
Trolley. NewOrleans,1955
Contact Sheet for Trolley
Contact Sheet for Trolley


The online guide is a first for a photographer in the National Gallery collection. Mr. Frank’s work was selected because it constitutes the museum’s largest and most complex holding by a single photographer.


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