Overview: The publication of Robert Frank's The Americans marked a shift in the medium of photography. Traditionally, photographs had been viewed as an objective representation of reality, but Frank demonstrated they could also serve as expressive channels to communicate a truth about the photographer's experience of the world. This focus installation explores the role of the photobook in the decades following Frank's seminal work and the ways in which The Americans shaped the emergence of photography as a viable fine-art form. Books by photographers such as Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Robert Adams, Rineke Dijkstra, and Ralph Gibson are included, as well as photobooks by artists including Ed Ruscha and Roni Horn.
Throughout the duration of the installation, a selection of more than 50 additional photobooks from the National Gallery of Art Library collections is available in the library reading room. Reprints and alternate editions of several of the books in the installation are available, as well as other works by these photographers and books from photographers not represented in the installation. The reading room can be accessed in the East Building, Ground Floor, Study Center, on Mondays between noon and 4:00 p.m. and Tuesdays through Fridays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Not open on weekends).
Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required.
Image: Museum of Modern Art, William Eggleston's Guide, New York, 1976, National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund; Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art, Richard Avedon, In the American West, New York, 1985, National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund; Doon Arbus and Marvin Israel, Diane Arbus, Millerton, NY, 1972, National Gallery of Art Library, Gift of Harvey S. Shipley Miller and J. Randall Plummer; Bernd Becher (1931-2007) and Hilla Becher (b. 1934), Anonyme Skulpturen, Düsseldorf, 1970, National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund