7 Photos From New Showcase of Gordon Parks’ Early Work

By Sameer Rao Nov 05, 2018

Gordon Parks‘ eye for the everyday conditions of Black life catapulted him to international prominence. A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art explores how the acclaimed photographer developed this sensibility early in his career.


rnt“Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950” opened to the public at the Washington D.C museum yesterday (November 4). The exhibit uses photographs from a decade in Parks’ early career to chronicle the evolution in his skills, career and areas of interest. The hundreds of photographs capture highlights from several formative periods, including his many visits to rural Black communities for the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information; trips to rural Canada, where he took photos of oil workers for Standard Oil (New Jersey)’s public relations efforts; friendships with other Black artistic pioneers like Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison; and the initial years of his tenure as Life magazine’s first Black staff photographer. 

Check out several photos from the new exhibition, which is on display until February 18, 2019.