Tag: Gordon Parks

“Harlem Is Nowhere,” an Artistic Collaboration Between Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison, on Display at Art Institute of Chicago Until August 28

“Untitled” (Harlem, New York), 1952 (THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION)

article by Tamara Best via nytimes.com

Masters of their fields, the photographer Gordon Parks and the writer Ralph Ellison bonded over a shared vision of using their creative talents to address racial injustice. That commitment led to the powerful, enduring 1952 photo essay “A Man Becomes Invisible.”

But that Life magazine project was not their only collaboration. A new exhibition, “Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem,” for the first time shows images from a lesser-known 1948 project of theirs, “Harlem Is Nowhere.” On view through Aug. 28 at the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition offers the two men’s counternarrative (the reality, that is) of the living conditions of black Americans during that time. Among the show’s more than 50 objects — the known surviving material belonging to both “A Man Becomes Invisible” and “Harlem Is Nowhere” — are newly discovered images, photographs that have never been exhibited and items that had not been definitely identified as belonging to either project.

The black-and-white photographs are vignettes of life in Harlem: street scenes of adults and children; political advocacy in real time; and imagined scenes from “Invisible Man,” Ellison’s watershed 1952 novel. The photographs are placed next to the passages that correspond with them, giving a sense of the tight collaborative process. Among the other highlights are drafts of captions for “Harlem Is Nowhere,” and images include a man in an alleyway; Harlem in literal ruin with a clinic building acting as a bright light; and a patient waiting to be seen, sitting in solitude, head in his hands.

Ellison and Parks “lived parallel lives, and they intersect in a creative splendor,” Adam Bradley, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who has written about Ellison’s work, said in a telephone interview. “They both understood the capacity of dark and light, light and shadow, black and white.”

These artists were compelled to focus on Harlem, their adopted home, which despite being the center of a cultural revival during the Harlem Renaissance, suffered a great economic toll tied to the Depression. They also witnessed the mounting postwar frustrations among their neighbors, black men who had been enlisted to fight but whose freedoms remained limited upon their return home.

Continue reading ““Harlem Is Nowhere,” an Artistic Collaboration Between Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison, on Display at Art Institute of Chicago Until August 28″

Gordon Parks Honored by Macy’s

gordon-parks001NEW YORK – From one icon to another, this February Macy’s, an American retail institution, salutes American cultural hero Gordon Parks in celebration of Black History Month. 

Via special events and exhibits at select stores across the country, Macy’s will honor the legacy of this artistic master who chronicled and defined a generation and whose work continues to inspire artists today.

A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth-century photography.

From the early 1940s until his death in 2006, Parks created a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights and urban life.

In addition, Parks was a celebrated composer, author and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era — from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes. In 1969 he became the first African-American to write and direct a Hollywood feature film based on his bestselling novel “The Learning Tree.” This was followed in 1971 by the hugely successful motion picture “Shaft.”

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Gordon Parks Photos: New York Museum To Mark Photographer’s 100th Birthday With New Exhibit

Gordon Parks Photos

The State Museum in Albany, NY is marking the 100th birthday of photographer Gordon Parks with an exhibit of his works.  The show opens on Jan. 26  and will showcase six decades of Parks’ photographs.  It will include his most famous photo, “American Gothic, Washington, D.C.,” which shows a black cleaning woman standing in front of an American flag with a broom and a mop.

State Education Commissioner John King says Parks’ work helped drive the Civil Rights movement by exposing the stark realities of life faced by many African Americans.

The State Museum display is organized by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The exhibit includes images from the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information collections at the Library of Congress.

article by Associated Press via huffingtonpost.com

Born On This Day in 1912: Acclaimed Photographer & Director Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks
(Photo: BILL FOLEY /Landov) 
Gordon Parks was a master of many arts: photography, film making, music and fiction. But the world almost missed the opportunity to experience and enjoy his major contributions.   Born on Nov. 30, 1912, to a family in Fort Scott, Kansas, that already included 14 other children, Parks was declared stillborn when his doctor couldn’t detect a heartbeat. Thanks to another doctor who thought to immerse him in cold water, which got his heart beating, he survived.

Parks, who taught himself photography with a used camera he bought for $7.50, led a life filled with firsts and major milestones, including shooting for Vogue and becoming the first Black photographer at Life magazine, where for two decades he documented the civil rights movement, race relations and urban life in America. 
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Reflections in Black: Celebrating African Americans in Photography

Augustus Washington (1820–1875)
Unidentified woman, probably a member of the Urias McGill family, daguerreotype, sixth plate, 1855, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LZ-USZC4-3937.

article via blog.charlesguice.com

Twelve years ago, Reflections in Black became the largest exhibition ever conceived to explore the breadth and history of work by black photographers.

It is unlikely that many people would be familiar with the name Jules Lion. A free man of color, Lion established the first daguerrean studio in New Orleans and, in doing so, became somewhat of a local celebrity. Alone, his accomplishments might have been of little interest. But the fact that he did this in the early spring of 1840, soon after the announcement of the daguerreotype process, is worthy of special attention. Moreover, there is evidence that Lion may have immigrated from France with knowledge of the process. For historian Deborah Willis, Lion’s achievements mark not only the beginning of photography in the U.S., but the pioneering involvement of blacks in the medium. As a result, Lion is included in the landmark exhibition,Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography. Continue reading “Reflections in Black: Celebrating African Americans in Photography”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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