Robert Frank
Photo credit : Gerald Fox

Robert Frank

Robert Frank
Photo credit : Gerald Fox

Photographer Filmmaker Engraver

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1924, Robert Frank embarked on his photographic journey at the age of 17, apprenticing under the guidance of photographer Hermann Segesser. By 1947, the allure of New York beckoned, and Frank found himself working in the studios of Harper’s Bazaar. It was during this period that he forged a bond with Louis Faurer. However, a year into his stint at Harper’s Bazaar, Frank's wanderlust took over, leading him to explore South America and later Europe.

1955 marked a pivotal year for Frank. Armed with a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, he embarked on a two-year expedition across the United States with his family. Out of the staggering 23,000 photographs captured during this journey, a curated selection of 83 images culminated in the seminal work "The Americans" (1958), published by Delpire. This collection, accompanied by writings from luminaries such as Simone de Beauvoir, Erskine Caldwell, William Faulkner, Henri Miller, and John Steinbeck, offered a unique, often external perspective on America. The American edition was graced with a preface by Jack Kerouac.

By 1959, Frank's artistic inclinations shifted towards filmmaking, momentarily sidelining his photographic pursuits. His inaugural film, "Pull My Daisy", was a collaborative effort with the Beat Generation poets, encapsulating a style that was free-spirited, poetic, and documentary in essence. Over the years, Frank would go on to craft nearly 30 films, though they seldom graced the cinema screens.

The early 1970s saw Frank retreating to Nova Scotia, Canada. Here, he dabbled in photography once more, experimenting with photomontages and embracing a more autobiographical narrative, evident in his 1972 publication "The Lines of My Head".

Frank's contributions to the world of photography and film did not go unnoticed. In 1985, he was honored with the Erich-Salomon Award, followed by the International Award from the Hasselblad Foundation in 1996, and the Haftmann Prize in 2014.

Frank continued his cinematic endeavors until 2005. He passed away in 2019, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire.



• THE AMERICANS - artist: Robert Frank ; introduction: Jack Kerouac ; 1959 ; Grove Press

• MOVING OUT - artist: Robert Frank ; 1995 ; Scalo

• ROBERT FRANK - Photo Poche #10 ; 1999 ; Centre National de la Photographie ; in French

• LONDON / WALES - artist: Robert Frank ; author: Philip Brookman ; 2007 ; Steidl Verlag

• HOLD STILL - KEEP GOING - artist: Robert Frank ; author: Christophe Ribbat ; 2016 ; Steidl Verlag



• PULL MY DAISY (1959)

• ME & MY BROTHER (1965-1968)





• TRUE STORY (2004)

• TUNNEL (2005)