February 17th, 2012

“Lost” Robert Frank Photos Found in NY Times Archive

A series of photographs Robert Frank made in 1958 on commission for The New York Times, which were once thought to have been thrown out, have been discovered by the family of Louis Silverstein, a longtime art director at the Times. The photographs are featured today on the Times‘ Lens blog.

A year before he published his groundbreaking book The Americans, Frank was hired to create the photographs by Silverstein, who headed the Times’ promotions department at the time. The images were used for a promotional book distributed to Times advertisers.

The images depict New Yorkers, many of them carrying or reading copies of the Times, going about their business on the streets, in taxis, at the airport, and at notable locations such as Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty.

Silverstein’s wife, Helen, recently discovered the prints with the help of Jeff Roth, a Times librarian. The prints remain with the Silverstein family. Some of the photographs were not published at that the time in the promotional book, and have not previously been seen.

A previous version of this blog post stated incorrectly that the photographs had been rediscovered in the Times’ archive.