The Americans. Robert Frank. Introduction by Jack Kerouac. Grove Press, New York, 1959. 180 pp. Unpaginated. Oblong quarto. First edition. Clothbound in photo-illustrated dustjacket. 83 Black-and-white reproductions.
In 2009 the National Gallery mounted landmark exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans, Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans.
NPR's story looking at that show contains images as well as a fantastic recorded interview with Frank discussing the making the book and its afterlife.
"...paved the way for three decades of photographs exploring the personal poetics of lived experience. Many memorable photobooks have been derived from this mass of material. None has been more memorable, more influential, nor more fully realized than Franks's masterpiece."--Parr and Badger, The Photobook: A History, Vol. I
"It was Frank's The Americans that made the photographic book into an artform in its own right. Frank was following a lead set by Morris' book [The Inhabitants] and, especially, by Evans' American Photographs, both of which are designed to let pictures play off each other in a way that controls and reinforces their effect on the viewer. Even Klein's New York book displays this tendency. But Frank's goes much further, creating a denser, richer, deeper structure of images than any book before it."--Colin Westerbeck in Michel Frizot, et. al., The New History of Photography
Near Fine in about Near Fine dust jacket; minor fading to boards; tanning to lower edges and base of spine; jacket typically tanned; wear to edges with a few small edge tears (largest being .75 in./1.25 cm.); small chip at crown of spine.