Americans

Jack KEROUAC   |   Robert FRANK

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Item#: 127585 price:$12,000.00

Americans
Americans
Americans
Americans

“THE MOST RENOWNED PHOTOBOOK OF ALL”: ROBERT FRANK'S THE AMERICANS, SIGNED BY HIM, WITH 83 FULL-PAGE PHOTOGRAVURES

FRANK, Robert. The Americans. Introduction by Jack Kerouac. New York: Grossman, 1969. Oblong octavo, original black cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $12,000.

Second American edition of Robert Frank’s influential masterpiece, a work that “forever changed the course of 20th-century photography,” signed by him ("Robert Frank!") on the half title, with 83 full-page photogravures, introduction by Jack Kerouac.

In his preface to his friend Robert Frank's magnum opus, Jack Kerouac wrote, "Anybody doesn't like these pitchers dont like potry see? Robert Frank… he sucked a sad poem out of America onto film, taking rank among the tragic poets of the world. To Robert Frank I now give this message. You got eyes." This iconoclastic Swiss-born artist—"one of the great photographers of the last 50 years"—traveled across America from 1955 to 1965, using his Leica to reveal "a starkly asymmetrical and lonely America," and creating images that revolutionized photography with their "irreverence and a dark humor… their grainy, out-of-focus effects, their tilting perspectives and over-the-shoulder half views" (New York Times). "From the more than 20,000 images that resulted, Frank eventually chose 83 of them and arranged them into four chapters… 'With these photographs,' he later wrote, 'I have attempted to show a cross-section of the American population. My effort was to express it simply and without confusion. The view is personal…' Such a simple intention for a book that would so alter the course of modern photography" (Roth, 150). Soon after Frank's return to New York, he became close friends with Kerouac and the writer offered to introduce a book of Frank's photographs with a few words.

Initial sales of the first American edition of The Americans were poor, "and by December 1960, when Grove Press had sold only a little over 1,100 copies, they declared the book out of print" (Looking In, 197, 315). Nevertheless The Americans quickly achieved legendary status as "the most renowned photobook of all… It struck a chord with a whole generation of American photographers… Many memorable photobooks have been derived from this mass of material. None has been more memorable, more influential, nor more fully realized than Frank's masterpiece" (Parr & Badger I:237). "Forever changed the course of 20th-century photography" (Looking In, xix). Preceded by the 1958 French edition and the 1959 first American edition. Open Book, 176.

Book about-fine, dust jacket with minor wear to spine ends, closed tear to rear panel, slightest fading to spine. An excellent copy.

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