Lot 29: ''The Americans'' First U.S. Edition Photography Book, With an Introduction by Jack Kerouac
27th July 2017
Rare first U.S. edition of ''The Americans'' by Robert Frank, in its original dust jacket. New York: Grove Press, 1959. Considered a landmark in American photography, ''The Americans'' features 84 of Frank's iconic black and white photographs, which Jack Kerouac describes as having ''agility, mystery, genius, sadness and strange secrecy of a shadow ''. In 1955-56 the European-born Frank traveled across the United States to study and capture the country's people and culture, capturing images from various cultures and socioeconomic levels. Unable to secure an American publisher, Frank's work was initially published in France by Robert Delpire in 1958, and then by Grove Press in 1959 once Kerouac agreed to write the introduction after meeting Frank on a sidewalk and seeing his photographs. The images continue to resonate, beginning with the dust jacket where a segregated bus shows, from front to back, a white man, white woman, white children and then two black men, giving disparate looks to the camera. Bound in black cloth boards with dramatic and bold gilt lettering to spine. Dust jacket (showing $7.50 price) is lightly chipped with tape repair to verso of front cover; overall very good condition. Previous owner's stamp and signature to front free endpaper, otherwise book is near fine.
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