During the Spring 2019 semester, Pratt Institute Photography Professor Peter Kayafas’ “Curatorial Practices in Photography" class created a focused virtual exhibition on the life and work of Gordon Parks.
"Vision & Justice" is a two-day creative convening that will consider the role of the arts in understanding the nexus of art, race, and justice, with a particular focus on the African-American experience. This event, which is open to the public, grows out of the award-winning Vision & Justice issue of the photography journal Aperture, guest edited by Sarah Lewis, and is organized around a guiding question: How has visual representation both limited and liberated our definition of American citizenship and belonging? Today, in our polarizing cultural climate, it is increasingly pictures that show us worlds unlike our own.
Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States. Encourage creative, critical, and historical thinking in your students as you examine works of art from the country’s creation to the present day.
The photographs in this image set speak to the power of Parks’s voice as an artist. His images certainly serve as documents of specific moments in time; but individually and as a group they also reveal humanity, implore empathy, pose questions, provoke outrage, and even inspire activism. Though taken decades ago, Parks’s photographs capture individuals and represent issues and themes that still resonate deeply with us today. How does Gordon Parks use photography to address inequities in the U.S.? What do Parks's photographs tell us about the American Dream?
For Freedoms is a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. Building off of the existing artistic infrastructure in the United States, For Freedoms has developed a network of artists and institutional partners who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Centered around the vital work of artists, They hope that these exhibitions and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.
Foundations, like The Gordon Parks Foundation, created by visual artists are a rapidly emerging force in cultural philanthropy and artistic heritage stewardship. The Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI aims to strengthen the charitable impact of this emerging field by addressing the significant information gap facing those who create, lead, govern, and advise artist-endowed foundations. It implements this strategy through research, publication, leadership convening, professional development, and events to share knowledge with key audiences. The foundation was pleased to host the 2018 Seminar on Strategy for Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders on April 30.
From the courtly fashions of Versailles to the street styles of modern Tokyo, the world of fashion is brought to your fingertips in a new virtual exhibition collection by Google. The “We wear culture” project by Google Arts & Culture is a collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation and over 180 other renowned cultural institutions from New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, São Paulo and around the world. Gordon Parks: Fashion Photographer by The Gordon Parks Foundation is now available online as part of the global exhibition opening today. The exhibition celebrates Parks’ long career as a fashion photographer working for magazines such as Life and Vogue. Although best known as a social documentarian, Parks began his career shooting fashions in the 1940 and continued to do so through 1990s. Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., executive director of The Gordon Parks Foundation said: “We are so pleased to partner with Google Arts & Culture on their initiative to use innovative technology to provide access to cultural institutions and their collections globally. Their goals match our mission to provide access to the work of Gordon Parks through a variety of media.”
The Gordon Parks Foundation is partnering with Warner Library for a special lecture about the legacy of Gordon Parks. Sara Krugman, an administrative assistant at the Foundation, will be leading the lecture on Thursday, May 11th at 7pm.
The Gordon Parks Foundation will again be offering an internship through the Millbrook School summer internship program. This opportunity, funded by Herb Schultz (Class of '63), provides six Millbrook School students with paid internships at non-profit organizations. The organizations benefit from the students' assistance, while the students are able to explore different non-profits and gain tangible experience within those fields.
Google Arts & Culture provides digital access to exhibitions and collections from museums and archives around the world. Users can create their own image libraries as they discover artworks, stories, and cultural treasures. The Gordon Parks Foundation is proud to be featured in the Historic Moments Project. Our participation aids in our mission of educational outreach by making Gordon Parks' work available to the public. Explore Gordon Parks' 1952 Life Magazine photo project titled “A Man Becomes Invisible” that was created to interpret and promote Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man. This online exhibition was curated by Michal Raz-Russo, curator of the exhibition Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem installed at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Gordon Parks Foundation partnered with Chappaqua Library to present a three-part program titled "A Choice of Weapons: The Legacy of Gordon Parks." Gordon Parks' works were on view in the Chappaqua Library Gallery from March 19- April 24. A reception was held on March 19 from 1-3 pm, followed by a screening of Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks. On Wednesday April 6 at 7pm, Amanda Smith, Assistant Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation, lead a discussion at the Chappaqua Library about Gordon Parks' most iconic moments and how his legacy lives on through the Foundation.
The Gordon Parks Foundation is proud to present educational group tours to schools, clubs, and community-based organizations of all ages. Visitors are given a guided tour of the current exhibition and a private look at the Foundation's archival material that illustrate Parks’ life and career. Our most recent visitors included Mt. Pleasant Public Library's adult lecture club, called "The Group", and Pleasantville High School Photography students.
In order to fulfill our mission of educational outreach and make Gordon’s work available to public, we are proud to share our current exhibition, A Harlem Family 1967, on Google Cultural Institute. Explore the entire story behind Gordon’s LIFE photo essay before you visit the works in person at The Gordon Parks Foundation in Pleasantville, New York.
The Artist Project is an online series in which The Metropolitan Museum of Art gives artists an opportunity to respond to their encyclopedic collection. They have invited 100 artists—local, national, and global—to choose individual works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations. In this online series, artists reflect on what art is, what inspires them from across 5,000 years of art, and in so doing, they reveal the power of a museum. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art encourage all audiences to look in a personal way.
The Gordon Parks Arts Hall opened in September 2015 at the University of Chicago. The new building provides programs in theater, music and the visual arts with new performance halls, studios, rehearsal and practice rooms, a digital media lab, and more.
Google's Cultural Institute provides digital access to exhibitions and collections from museums and archives around the world. Users can create their own image libraries as they discover artworks, stories, and cultural treasures. The Gordon Parks Foundation is proud to be featured in the Historic Moments Project. Our participation aids in our mission of educational outreach by making Gordon Parks' work available to the public. Explore Gordon Parks' 1948 Harlem Gang Leader photo essay for Life Magazine and the 2013 exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the current exhibition at the Gordon Parks Foundation, A Harlem Family 1967.
On May 15, 2015 the Jacob Burns Film Center screened Gordon Parks' Diary of a Harlem Family and held a panel discussion with Leslie Parks, Gene Young, and Mario Sprouse, moderated by Jonathan Demme. Material from Gordon Parks' The Learning Tree was exhibited in the film center's Jane Peck Gallery.
We are proud that Gordon Parks' Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956 was featured on the cover of the American Alliance of Museums' Jan./Feb. 2015 issue of Museum magazine!
Demetrius Freeman is a photo intern at The New York Times. He is a student at Western Kentucky University. Before joining The Times, Mr. Freeman spent two years after high school traveling in Denmark, Spain, Germany and Atlanta picking up freelance photo assignments for clients including Home Depot, Norfolk Southern and the Georgia Innocence Project.
A Fitting Tribute: Logan Circle Heritage Trail: Ella Watson, the subject of photographer Gordon Parks’ famous and pointed portrait “American Gothic, Washington, D.C.,” rented rooms on this block at 1433 11th Street. Watson worked as a cleaning woman in the headquarters of the Farm Security Administration, a New Deal agency that employed writers and photographers to document conditions around the country during the Great Depression. In 1942 Parks, the FSA’s first African American photographer, spent a month capturing Watson at work, church, and home.
A conversation with Gene Young (Gordon Parks’ former wife and editor) and Mario Sprouse (Parks’ musical collaborator) was moderated by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr. Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation, on February 27, 2013 at the Purchase College Library in celebration of Black History Month.
The Gordon Parks Foundation partnered with Macy's to celebrate the centennial of Gordon Parks for Black History Month. Parks' genius was based on the respect and trust he brought to his subjects not only through the lens of his camera but through his own personal story. Macy's is committed to keeping icons like Gordon Parks in the public eye to inspire future generations. Together with The Gordon Parks Foundation & the American Black Film Festival, Macy's hosted exciting in-store events inspired by the contributions of this great American artist.
On the occasion of the Paris Photo international show (Nov.15-18, 2012), Ambassador Charles Rivkin and his wife, Susan Tolson, hosted an event celebrating the great African-American photographer Gordon Parks in honor of the centennial of his birth (1912-2006). A selection of 24 photos, made by the Gordon Parks Foundation and courtesy of the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, surveyed the African-American photographer’s best known images - including portraits of Civil Rights leaders, his work for the Farm Security Administration after the Great Depression, and iconic Paris fashion images.
To commemorate the centennial of the birth of photographer, filmmaker, musician, and writer Gordon Parks (1912–2006), ICP presented a public art project which included a large-scale photo mural and slideshow of images he captured throughout his long, illustrious career. The installation Gordon Parks: 100 Years was unveiled May 18, 2012 and was on view through January 6, 2013. It is organized by Maurice Berger in cooperation with The Gordon Parks Foundation.
Last spring as students registered for their upcoming courses, they read an unfamiliar title being offered by the art history department. It was simply called 'Gordon Parks.' Who was Gordon Parks? And why was an entire course devoted to learning about a man most had never heard of before? The objective was to dig beneath the surface and to understand Gordon Parks the artist and his place in twentieth century photography, film-making and writing. But it was also a course that would take a journey through Parks' personal story of a poor black man living in a white world - a world filled with bigotry and hatred, but a world in which Parks would ultimately rise to the top by allowing his creativity and imagination to overcome adversity.
The summer of 2009 was spent renovating a 2,000 square foot space at Purchase College, part of the SUNY system in Purchase, New York. We have now moved in all of our photography collections and have ample space to archive and work with the images. It is a secure, climate-controlled archive and we are surrounded by students and faculty eager to help with our ongoing work and already proposing projects of their own.