Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Gordon Parks at the Studio Museum

In celebration of Gordon Park's centennial in November 2012, the Studio Museum is featuring selections from his seminal photo essay, A Harlem Family, published in Life magazine in 1968. Probably best known for being Hollywood's first major black director, Parks was above all a photographer, and his best work uses a split-second shot to capture a much larger, much longer event or situation. Here, he depicts the Fontenelles, a family living in a tenement, trying to get by in truly awful conditions, and uses their struggles to stand in for the desperately poor, largely African-American, urban underclass at a time when many US cities were rioting. Fast forward many decades, and only one child, Richard, lived past the age of 30, in large part thanks to his connection with Parks. The exhibit is on view through June. 

Photo: thanks

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