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Library Celebrates Westport Photographer With Exhibit

Muhammad Ali in 1969 at Jake’s Diner in Athens, Ohio by Richard Frank
Muhammad Ali in 1969 at Jake’s Diner in Athens, Ohio by Richard Frank Photo Credit: Comtributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Library is hosting a retrospective exhibit of Westport photographer Richard Frank's work, titled "Always Looking ...," through Jan. 4,  2017 at The Great Hall.

The retrospective exhibit includes commercial and professional works from Frank's long professional career.

In his last semester before graduating from Queens College, Frank decided to take a course that would end up changing his life -- photography.

After graduating, he went on to enroll in a Master of Fine Arts program at Ohio University, but his stay was cut short when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Even so, during his time at school, he had been able to learn the essence of the craft of photography.

A chance encounter during Frank's stay in college in 1969 would prove pivotal to his career as a photographer: One evening, while having coffee at a local diner, he looked up to see Muhammad Ali walking through the door.

Ali graciously agreed to be photographed, and, after developing his film, Frank realized he had, in fact, captured an electrifying moment that helped validate his decision to pursue photography as a career.

As a freelance photographer for 40 years, Frank specialized location shoots. He is known for his ability to depict his subjects in a natural, authentic style and has done assignments for many corporate brochures, books, school view books and national magazines, among them, Car & Driver, Fortune, Money, New York Magazine, The New York Times Magazine and People, according to a release from the Westport Library.

At Audubon Magazine, he became the magazine's most published photographer of people, working with writer Frank Graham Jr.

A Westport resident for more than 30 years, Frank is married to painter Leona Frank.

The couple was selected in 2012 to spend a month at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton in a collaborative artist residency.

Their now-adult children, Hillary and Josh, who grew up in Westport, each were recipients of Westport's Horizon Arts Award.

For more information, call (203)291-4800 or visit the library’s website.

The library is at 20 Jesup Road, Westport.

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