Howard University just got their hands on over 250 photographs taken by legendary photographer Gordon Parks. The pictures represent over 50 years of Parks’ work and include some of his earliest photos taken in the 1940s, making it the most comprehensive collection of Parks’ artwork in the world. This massive windfall of legendary artwork was part gift, part purchase for the HBCU, and it is part of The Gordon Parks Foundation’s mission to preserve the artist’s legacy by making his work available to the public.
“This landmark collection of photographs by one of the great chroniclers of Black American life provides artists, journalists, and scholars at Howard University with a new resource to study and embrace the lasting impact of Gordon Parks,” said Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation in a release shared with The Root.
The new Gordon Parks Legacy Collection will take up residence at Howard’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, where it will be organized by theme into 15 distinct groups. The collection will include some of Parks’ most notable photographs, including Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun, New York, New York, 1959 and Duke Ellington in Concert, New York, 1960. There will also be photos taken later in his career, including supermodel Iman from the 1970s and film maker Spike Lee from 1990. But viewers will also get a glimpse of some lesser-known images, such as Robert Todd Duncan, one of the first African Americans to sing in a major opera company and musical conductor Charles Dean Dixon, the first African American guest conductor of The New York Philharmonic.
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SOURCE: The Root, Angela Johnson