As a teenager, Frank Hallam Day lived in West Berlin. He and his family arrived in July 1962, eleven months after the Wall’s construction. In Berlin, Day’s father Arthur had served as the Director of the Berlin Task Force in the State Department and subsequently as a Deputy Chief of Mission in West Berlin.
Living there with his family from 1962 to 1966, Day was fascinated by the conditions of the occupation, collecting surplus military photographs and documents. Later in his life, he also worked for the U.S. State Department, before turning to full-time work as a fine art photographer. He returned to Berlin starting in 1995 to photograph the erasure of social (as well as personal) memory involved in the city’s reunification. His work, alternately titled Berlin Mitte or Lost Images, demonstrates historical change through poetic juxtapositions. He views the city’s construction sites, especially those near the former Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, and on Unter den Linden, as haunted terrains of a layered history. In 2012, Day was awarded the prestigious Leica Oskar Barnack photography prize.