Robert Frank, photographer who chronicled America, 1924–2019

Robert Frank, from The Americans, 1952. © the artist

Robert Frank, the photographer who chronicled ordinary America in his landmark book The Americans, has died aged 94.

Swiss-born, Frank moved to New York in 1947, initially working for Harper's Bazaar. He set off across his newly adopted home in 1952, taking his family with him on a series of road trips. Frank took approximately 28,000 shots over two years, 83 of which ended up being published, first in France and then in the US. A chance encounter outside a bar with Jack Kerouac led to the beat poet penning an introduction to the series.

Frank went on to produces more books and, in 1959 made the first of several films, Pull My Daisy, narrated by Kerouac and featuring Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and others. In 1972 he was commissioned to make a documentary of the Rolling Stones, the result, Cocksucker Blues, has become a totem of the tour documentary genre.

10 September 2019