Robert Frank, who died on Monday at the age of 94, looked at the country through the critical eyes of an outsider. Originally from Switzerland, he travelled across the United States taking photos of factory workers, prostitutes, cross-dressers, cowboys and Americans of all stripes. He rarely spoke to his subjects, but possessed an uncanny ability to capture the alienation, poverty and racism that rippled throughout his adopted homeland. Frank’s 1958 book The Americans, which assembled 83 photos taken during his cross-country tour, had “a profound impact on the art of photography [and] changed the course of American photography,” says Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art.
Blurb courtesy of "Smithsonian"