Image Copyright Restricted

Coffee Shop, Railway Station, Indianapolis

1956, printed 1979
Robert Frank (American (born in Switzerland, 1924))


Image: 22.3 x 33.0 cm (8 3/4 x 13 in.) Sheet: 27.94 x 35.56 cm (11 x 14 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art, Photography



Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank’s book The Americans (1958) was a difficult pill for the postwar-era public to swallow. The book, which he described as a “visual study of a civilization,” portrayed a society very different from the one touted in the advertisements and picture magazines of the day. As the first foreign photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, Frank crisscrossed the United States in the mid-1950s armed with a small handheld camera and high-speed film, recording his impressions in dark, grainy photographs such as this one of a railway coffee shop. The whirring fan, the glare of the fluorescent lights, and the shy glance of the young waitress suggest the pervasive loneliness and ennui that for Frank typified the United States during the cold war.


Signed and dated in ink. On verso: copyright and archive stamp.


The Kiva Gallery, Boston; purchased June 1980.

Credit Line

Sophie M. Friedman Fund


© Robert Frank, from "The Americans"