The Americans China

Robert Frank's The Americans dwelt on imagery of an America startlingly different from the gorgeous vistas of William Henry Jackson, Ansel Adams, or Brett Weston, not to mention Hollywood portraiture and The National Geographic

His photos also stood opposite the fussy formalism of Edward Weston and Paul Caponigro.

In 1955 (my birth year), Frank captured the unsightly yet authentic, the obtrusive ugliness, of brash post-war character.

There were motorcycles, rude and discordant.

Make-out spots, like sacred sites.

And I thought to bring China, in its sad pre-modern face.

I had two volumes of images of imperial China--one was called The Face of China

That seemed a match.

More from this book on The Creaky Shelf.

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