RESPECT. shares an open letter from Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation about the continued gift that Mr. Parks’ works has bestowed upon students and photo lovers around the globe.
“Through our publications and partnerships with museums, we continue to make discoveries in Gordon’s archive that reveal the breadth and impact of his work.”
Eighty years ago, while Gordon Parks was working in racially segregated Washington D.C., he visited the Howard University campus. For Gordon, the prestigious historically Black university represented extraordinary possibilities. Earlier this year, The Gordon Parks Foundation partnered with Howard on a historic acquisition of over 250 photographs. The Gordon Parks Legacy Collection at Howard University represents one of the most comprehensive resources for the study of Gordon’s life and work anywhere in the world. It ensures that future generations of students, artists, scholars, and activists at Howard will have the access and opportunity to learn from Gordon Parks.
This past year, the work of Gordon Parks Foundation Fellows and Prize recipients was celebrated through exhibitions, programs, and publications. In Pleasantville, we presented Fishing Was His Life, an exhibition of new work by 2020 art fellowship recipient Nina Chanel Abney. We also showed new work by LaToya Ruby Frazierfrom Flint Is Family In Three Acts, recipient of the inaugural Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize. In the weeks ahead, we will be releasing the second book awarded Prize, Jamel Shabazz: Albums as well as Ralph Ellison: Photographer, the first survey of this author’s lesser-known body of work, some of it made alongside Gordon Parks. We will also be announcing the recipients of two 2023 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowships in art and the next Genevieve Young Fellowship in Writing. In 2023 we will also be featuring exhibitions by our 2022 fellows, Bisa Butler, Andre D. Wagner, and Nicole R. Fleetwood.
Through our publications and partnerships with museums, we continue to make discoveries in Gordon’s archive that reveal the breadth and impact of his work. This past spring, the Carnegie Museum of Art featured Gordon’s early photographs of workers at the Penola Grease Plant in Pittsburgh, and in the fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston opened Stokely Carmichael and Black Power, which featured never-before-seen images of the civil rights leader. We also published an expanded edition of Gordon Parks: Segregation Story, which features previously unpublished photographs and manuscripts from the series, and honored Ms. Cora Taylor, who was photographed by Parks for the book’s cover image. A selection of the Segregation Story images is now on view in Pleasantville.
Today, on what would have been Gordon’s 110th birthday, I am writing for your year-end support to help us continue to make this work possible.
All my thanks,
Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation
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