Exhibit on photography and film visionary Robert Frank opens at Tufts University Oct. 6

Only location in Massachusetts to host “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947–2017”
Welsh Miners (1953), from the book London / Wales (2007) © Robert Frank
October 5, 2017

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Kalimah Redd Knight

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Oct. 5, 2017) – Tufts University will be the only institution in Massachusetts to host “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947-2017,” a bold exhibition of the life’s work of one of the preeminent figures in 20th century photography. The exhibit will be held at the Tisch Library on Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus, 35 Professors Row, Medford, from Oct. 6 to Nov. 5. The exhibit show is free and open to the public.

Despite Frank’s significant influence on photographers of his own and subsequent generations, there are only few exhibitions of his work. This traveling exhibition to be chiefly shown at universities and schools, seeks to remedy that. Frank’s original silver gelatin prints are today fragile objects, and most are not on public display. Galleries, museums and investors lend Frank originals only under limited conditions of display with exorbitant insurance costs, which makes organizing traditional exhibitions very difficult.Santa Fe, New Mexico, from the book The Americans © Robert Frank

Conceived by Robert Frank and Gerhard Steidl, this exhibition shows Frank’s work in photos, books and films in a direct accessible manner. Frank’s images are printed on sheets of newsprint and hung on the walls or from the ceiling. Frank’s films and videos, which are so often overshadowed by his photographic work are shown on small portable “beamers”, projecting them directly onto the walls. Each exhibition is to be disposed of after display, thus circumventing the normal cycle of speculation and consumption in the art market. When the idea for this pop-up show first reached Frank in his small, crooked house in the Canadian village of Mabou, he said: “Cheap, quick, and dirty, that’s how I like it!”

“We are honored to bring this installation of Robert Frank’s extraordinary work – in photos, books and film – not only to the Tufts community, but also to the rest of New England to experience,” said Dorothy Meaney, interim director of Tisch Library.

The exhibition at Tufts University is made possible by the generous support of Tufts alumnus Steve Tisch, and the Steve Tisch Foundation, Steidl, and the Richard Ehrlich Family Foundation.

Robert Frank Tunnel (video still), color and black & white, 4 minutes, 2005 © Robert FrankThe exhibition hours are 10a.m. to 11:30p.m. The installation is located in Tisch Library on the main level; the Tower Café; the level 1 main stairwell; and the level 2 & 3 stairwells.

The exhibition’s next venues will be the Houston Center for Photography (December 9, 2017-January 5, 2018) and Blue Sky Gallery, Portland (January 5-February 25, 2018), before continuing to visit about 30 further cities around the globe. Previous venues include the Art Institute of Chicago (12.5.-26.5.17), the Tokyo University of the Arts (10.11.-24.11.16), Kunsthalle Ziegelhütte, Appenzell, Switzerland (15.5.-30.10.16), and NYU/Tisch School of the Arts (29.1.-11.2.16).

Robert Frank‘s wife June Leaf in Mabou, Canada, 2009, from the book Household Inventory Record (2013) © Robert Frank###

About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.