Tags for: Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950
  • Special Exhibition
A woman holding a broom, with the straw up, in one hand and a mop, with the business end up, in the other hand.  She is posed in front of an American flag.

Washington, D.C. Government charwoman (detail), July 1942. Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Gelatin silver print; 23.7 x 18.2 cm. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LC-USF34-013407-C [P&P]. Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Photograph

Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950

Saturday, March 23–Sunday, June 9, 2019
Location:  004 Special Exhibition Gallery
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Gallery

About The Exhibition

The pioneering African American photographer Gordon Parks (1912–2006) considered his work during the 1940s and ’50s to be the benchmark for his 60-year career. Focusing on extensive new research, Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950 documents the importance of Parks’s early experiences—from his immersion in the Chicago Black Renaissance to his friendships with Roy Stryker, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison—in shaping his groundbreaking, passionate vision. The exhibition traces his rapid evolution from an accomplished, self-taught practitioner to an independent artistic and journalistic voice widely communicating a meaningful and coherent understanding of critical social and cultural issues.

Produced at a time when images began to proliferate in picture magazines and on television, Parks’s early commissions—ranging from commercial, government, and industrial to fashion and journalism—provide an engaging study of the competing purposes and meanings of his photographs. In addition, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue examine the role of government and corporate archives in encouraging creativity and innovation in photography, the importance of World War II in establishing a role for photography in the civil rights movement, and the expanding function of mass media in creating and distributing a new visual culture.


Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation

Bank of America is proud to be the national sponsor of Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950.

Supporting Sponsors
William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb
The Seven Five Fund


Media Sponsor

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