Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924) is an American photographer. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, was influential, and earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society.
Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage. Born in Switzerland, Frank grew up the son of a wealthy Jewish family with a Swiss mother and a German father; he turned to photography for expression as well as a way to escape the pressures of his business-oriented family. Living in Europe during the Second World War-while although safe in Switzerland-impacted Frank and affected his understanding of oppression which is later seen in his work. Frank emigrated to America in 1947; bringing with him his published book 40 fotos, he got a job with Alexey Brodovitch; the art director for Harper’s Bazaar and worked for them as a fashion photographer until 1952. Frank took many irregular trips to Europe where he photographed in Paris, Spain, Wales and London, in addition to Central and South America.
In 1950 Frank married artist Mary Lockspeiser and participated in the group show curated by Edward Steichen 51 American Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art. From late 1957 to late 1963 Frank worked with the promotion department at the New York Times as a [freelance] photojournalist.