Title: Evergreen Review (no. 4)

Photographer: Robert Frank
Publisher: Grove Press
Designer: Not listed


Image Title: Newburgh, New York
Photo Genre: Documentary
Book Genre: Literary Magazine

Those having some depth of acquaintance with Robert Frank's work will likely be familiar with this early cover of the Evergreen Review. It predates any of his commercially published books and may be the first American instance of his photography found on the cover of a publication. None of Frank's photographs are reproduced inside the magazine, nor can essays about him or even biographical data be found. The cover image, made at a motorcycle rally in Newburgh, NY, serves purely as illustration and metaphor. But metaphor for what?
Evergreen Review, founded by Barney Rosset in 1957, was an important (possibly the most important) literary venue for work by and about the Beats, and what would become the counterculture of the sixties. In addition to displaying Robert Frank's photograph, this issue's cover informs us that writing by Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jack Kerouac can be found inside. Frank maintained close friendships with many of the Beat writers, and was a collaborator on films and related projects. Kerouac wrote the introduction to 'The Americans', from which the image on this cover was taken.
In 1957, the motorcycle rider, mythologized by Marlon Brando and Peter Fonda in films ranging from 'The Wild Ones' to 'Easy Rider', symbolized the quintessential American Rebel, an apt avatar for the rumblings social and political unrest yet to come. KB

See 'Multiple Uses' for other books with the same cover image:

Multiple Uses :