Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, Chalfont, PA
1924 - 2019
gelatin silver print, number ‘17’ in pencil and with ‘2 895’ stamped on the reverse, 1956, probably printed in the 1950s
image: 6 ¼ by 9 ⅜ in. (15.9 by 23.8 cm.)
Please note the colors in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen settings. This photograph, on double-weight paper with a surface sheen, is in generally excellent condition. There is a long vertical crease 2-1/2 inches from the right edge that may break the emulsion in a few tiny areas. On the reverse, there is a stain at the lower center edge. '2 895' is stamped and '040.852.3.15' and '17' are written in pencil in an unidentified hand. When examined under ultraviolet light, this print does not appear to fluoresce.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Acquired from Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago
The physical qualities of the photograph offered here – its size and the stamped number on the reverse – match the work prints Robert Frank made from his Guggenheim project negatives (1955-57) now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Proof prints were made for grouping, sequencing, and layout purposes ahead of the 1958-59 publication of his landmark book The Americans. As noted by Sarah Greenough in Looking In: Robert Frank's 'The Americans,' Frank made several rounds of prints over the summer and fall of 1956 as he sorted images from more than 767 rolls of film he had shot for the project. Some of the images were annotated with possible sequence numbers while others referenced film roll numbers.
While many prints used for layout purposes of The Americans exhibit evidence of heavy handling including tears, tack holes, and cropping notations, this print is in very excellent condition and exhibits a high level of detail throughout, from the satiny cloth car covering to the texture of the palm fronds.
"I have always thought that Robert Frank’s work represented a seminal change in modern photography and the most important photographer of the second half of the 20th-century. It is one of my favorites from the many Frank’s that we have had ourselves or bought for clients. The fact that it is one of his extremely rare working prints for “The Americans” just makes it that much more significant. Whether 20th or 19th-century, we search out rare and one-of-a-kind photographs." - Alex Novak
Contemporary Works/Vintage Works is a private dealer specializing in master 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century images with an emphasis on American, French, and English artists. Their contemporary inventory includes mixed-media pieces, large-scale color photographs, black and white contemporary photography, contemporary daguerreotypes, and other alternative processes.