Robert Frank forever changed the course of photography when his book The Americans was published in 1958, chronicling the broad landscape of life in the USA. To say that Frank has reached legend status is an understatement. Now, with a new online collection put together by the National Gallery of Art, hundreds of Frank’s photos, workprints and contact sheets are available for anyone to view for some serious photo education.
The Robert Frank Collection includes over 8000 items and spans Frank’s prolific career from 1937-2005. Only a few hundred of those are viewable online so far, but it’s still a glorious treat to examine over 100 contact sheets and over 400 photos from locations such as Peru, New York, and New Orleans.
© Robert Frank, from The Americans
A photographer’s contact sheets are a window into his or her process, providing valuable lessons for anyone attempting their own photographic adventures. It’s a pretty rare thing to have this type of access to such an influential artist’s work. You can zoom in super close for a look at how Frank worked a scene, chose his composition, and selected his best shots.
Collections like these are essential to spreading knowledge to people who may not have access to large museums or libraries of photo books. Let’s hope the National Gallery of Art keeps adding images to their online database so us photographers can keep salivating. [via NYT Lens]
Picture: Robert Frank, from The Americans