Robert Frank: melancholy and menace


General Photography

“On patrol near the Mississippi river one afternoon in November 1955, Lt RE Brown of the Arkansas State Police spotted a suspicious, ‘foreign-looking’ man driving down the highway in a battered old Ford and pulled him over. Unshaven and shabbily dressed, the man didn’t have proper ID and his car was full of maps, foreign books, a bottle of ‘foreign whisky’, and - most suspicious - fancy foreign cameras. Thinking he had caught a spy with ‘Communist affiliations’, Lt Brown arrested Robert Frank and threw him into jail for an interrogation that would last until midnight. […] What saved Frank’s skin - not to mention the many rolls of film the police wanted to confiscate - was a rolled-up copy of Fortune magazine, a red, white and blue pro-capitalist publication if ever there were one. Frank pointed to a feature story, explaining that the pictures on the page were his.” - story