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Maker(s):Frank, Robert
Culture:American, born Zurich, Switzerland (1924-2019)
Title:San Francisco from the series The Americans
Date Made:1956
Materials:Gelatin silver print
Measurements:Mat: 19 15/16 x 16 in; 50.6 x 40.6 cm; Sheet: 16 7/8 x 13 15/16 in; 42.9 x 35.4 cm; Image: 13 1/2 x 9 1/8 in; 34.3 x 23.2 cm
Narrative Inscription:  SIGNATURE: front, lwr. r. (black ink): Robert Frank.; TITLE: recto, lwr. l. (black ink): San Francisco; NUMBER: verso, lwr. r. (graphite): 650-
Accession Number:  UM 1978.49
Credit Line:Purchased with funds from the University of Massachusetts Alumni Class of 1928 and a National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan Grant
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

A black man and woman reclining on a grassy hillside with a view of San Francisco before them but they are interrupted by the photographer and turn to give him a look.

Label Text:
Excerpted label text from the Curatorial Fellowship exhibition “Eyes Are For Asking: Narratives in Photography,” March 24 – May 1, 2016:
San Francisco frames its two subjects in light of an archetypal narrative of urban modernity. Unlike many of the lonely figures in the famous series “The Americans” from which it is taken, the couple in San Francisco does not appear entirely isolated. Amidst the blur of a sprawling cityscape, and a daily life presumably affected by segregation, they have carved out a moment of peace and quiet for themselves – a moment now “ruined” by the intrusion of the photographer. Frank’s intrusion into this temporal space is signaled by the look in their eyes, which conveys a notable self-awareness and dignity. The moment reveals itself as a confrontation between subjects, viewing and viewed. -Gretchen Halverson (M.A. Art History ‘16) and Procheta Mukherjee Olson (M.F.A. Studio Art ‘17)

urban; African American; streets; buildings; trees; documentary photography

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