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

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“A guy who takes a chance, who walks the line between the known and unknown, who is unafraid of failure, will succeed.” – Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was part of what author Richard Wright called “the new tide” of African Americans who were pressing for respect and racial equality in the 1940s. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation, Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950 explores the early years of Parks’ career as an influential photographer who captured the essence of the civil rights movement in addition to breaking barriers for African Americans.

From his fashion photographs to his thoughtful depictions of American life, Parks used the camera as his tool for proclaiming the value of an American community built on freedom and equality. This exhibition offers an expansive and intimate look at how this pioneering artist became one of the most influential photographers of his day.


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