South of Klamath Falls

The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip

June 17 – September 11, 2016

The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip is the first exhibition and book to explore the story of the American photographic road trip & one of the most distinct, important and appealing themes of the medium. Images document the evolution of American car culture, the idea of the open road and how photographers embraced America. Among the 19 photographers featured are Robert Frank (whose 1955 road trip resulted in his 1958 book The Americans), Ed Ruscha, Stephen Shore and Alec Soth.

After World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music, movies and photography. The myth of the American frontier has long engaged artists, but it was seminal trips through America by key photographers, such as Walker Evans and Edward Weston, in the 1930s and 1940s that encouraged many more photographers to purposefully embark on similar journeys during the post-World War II era. They created a body of work about America and their place in it.

As part of this exhibition, we will also be hosting the "DIA Open Road" Photo Contest. Share your favorite American road trip experiences with the DIA this summer through the #DIAOpenRoad Photo Contest, running Monday, July 18 through Monday, August 22. 

This exhibition is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York, David Campany and Denise Wolff, Curators, and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.