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The New York Public Library’s conversation with photographer Robert Frank Saturday night reminded me of nothing so much as a Fashion Week show.

The city’s art elite and minor celebrities searching for their seats, then leaving them over and over to embrace and kiss someone hello. A hum and bustle of excitement in the air. A lot of neck craning and whispering from all sides.

But on display in the packed, ballroom of a space was not some new Spring line, but an old recluse—Frank—who person after person would stand up to praise and thank for deeply altering their perceptions of art and life.