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Yom Kippur, East River, New York

A work made of gelatin silver print, from "the americans" (1955/56).
© Robert Frank

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print, from "the americans" (1955/56).


1955, printed 1977


Robert Frank
American, born Switzerland, 1924–2019

About this artwork

This picture, of religiously observant Jewish passengers taking the Staten Island ferry on the Day of Atonement that follows the Jewish New Year, appears in Robert Frank’s landmark book The Americans. Frank came to New York from his native Zurich in 1947 and published The Americans a decade later, after extensive travels around the United States. Frank was Jewish, and his father had fled persecution in Germany. The knot of black-clad ferry riders, along with the lone young man in a suit of lighter color and the child—each a possible stand-in for the photographer—face a journey of discovery and reflection that, in 1954, also awaited Frank as he embarked on a lengthy career in photography, books, and film.

Robert Frank died on September 9, 2019 at the age of 94.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Robert Frank


Yom Kippur, East River, New York


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1955


Gelatin silver print, from "The Americans" (1955/56)


Inscribed recto, lower left, below image, in black ink: "NYC 1955"; signed and inscribed recto, lower right, below image, in black ink: "R. Frank. 77"; stamped and inscribed verso, lower right, in black ink and graphite: "ROBERT FRANK ARCHIVE [stamped in black ink] / Americans 16 / Yom Kippur- / East River, New York / L.82.006.005 433 [inscribed in graphite]"; [in rectangle]


Image: 22.2 × 33.1 cm (8 3/4 × 13 1/16 in.); Paper: 27.8 × 35.4 cm (11 × 13 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Maurice D. Galleher Endowment

Reference Number



© Robert Frank

Extended information about this artwork

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