- Robert Frank
- 39 gelatin silver prints mounted back to back with a spiral binding
- The photographs various sizes to 7 7/8 by 9 3/4 in. (20 by 24.8 cm.)
Alexey Brodovitch to Joel Meyerowitz, 1960s
Christie's New York, 8 April 2011, Sale 2431, Lot 452
Frank’s early photographs from Peru herald the themes and devices that would be fully developed in his influential photobook, The Americans (1958). As a Swiss-born photographer, Frank observed the people of Peru with no judgement; rather, the images taken on his journey reveal a documentarian’s expert timing, sensitivity, and an genuine fascination with the people encountered.
Although Peru was not his first attempt at book construction, it continued the experimentation and unconventional design of his earlier effort, 40 Fotos (1946), by way of a non-linear layout and playful comparisons. Brodovitch’s influence is evident in the innovative book design, and Frank showed his appreciation by gifting his mentor and friend the present copy, one of only two he produced. A second, slightly different maquette was given to his mother on her birthday in 1949; it is now in the Robert Frank Archive at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.