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Unformatted text preview: Tricia Mittman Robert Frank was born in 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland to a wealthy Jewish family during the time of the World Wars. A divided Europe created huge crisis for European Jews, however throughout the era Switzerland remained neutral, creating a safe haven for refugees. Franks family was extremely fortunate that they did not face the oppression that so many Jews went through. However, the surrounding violence was prevalent and Frank learned of the harshness of oppression at an early age. He learned to express his emotions creatively through photography, leading to a lifetime of artistic success. Frank trained under professional photographers and released his first book in Switzerland at age 22. Soon after, he immigrated to the U.S. to further his passion, and secured a job as a fashion photographer for Harpers Bazaar . Because he was one of few Jews able to travel the world, he took advantage of his fortune and journeyed to South America and Europe, arriving back in 1950 having created two photo books documenting his travels. He stayed in New York and continued photographing for magazines such as Fortune and Vogue . His freelance work gained considerable recognition, and in 1954, he applied for a Guggenheim fellowship to create a record of what an observant naturalized American finds and sees in the United States. He received the grant with help from his mentor Walker Evans, and began this new work. The result of this venture was an 83-image photobook entitled The Americans . The photobook gained considerable recognition as a result of a multitude of creative and culturally influential practices implemented Franks the creation of the book. The Photobook, an article by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, highlights the different dimensions of photobooks and their relation to the art culture and society as a whole. The article touches heavily on the difference between displaying photographs in exhibitions versus in photobooks, and argues that photobooks are the more prestigious and practical demonstration of the two. Photobooks can be published and either acclaimed or disregarded, yet can reappear years later with a reestablished vision. Once a photobook is published, it is forever available in some capacity, whereas after a photo exhibition ends, the work may never been seen in the same manner again. Our ability as students to explore The Americans and thus vividly learn about this time in history exemplifies the...
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course COMM 211 taught by Professor Traubaut during the Spring '08 term at University of Michigan.
- Spring '08