‘The Americans’ is Reprinted at 50

Mike Johnston – The Online Photographer

Copyright The Online Photographer
Today, May 15th, is the 50th anniversary of the day Robert Frank’s The Americans was first published by Robert Delpire in Paris. That was 1958. Today we realize that The Americans has more in common with beat poetry and club jazz than it has with many other kinds of photography; it’s one of the high water marks of 1950s culture. And throughout an era when photographers communicated with each other and with their audiences mainly through the vehicle of published books, The Americans has had only a handful of competitors (Walker Evans’ American Photographs, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment, a few others) for the title of the most important single photography book ever published. For thirty years after its publication it was deeply influential. And although photography has moved on now, the echoes of its impact reverberate still.
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