A career-spanning exhibition of Gordon Parks photographs from the Dean Collection will debut this spring at The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University. On view 26 April through 19 July 2019, the exhibition is co-organised by The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University and The Gordon Parks Foundation in cooperation with consulting curator, Dr. Maurice Berger.
‘Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection’ will premiere a selection of works from the collection of Kasseem Dean and Alicia Keys, who hold the largest private collection of works by Gordon Parks. Recognised as the most important African-American photographer of the 20th century, Parks represented his subjects – from the rural poor and Americans living under segregation to fashion models and prominent Americans – with empathy and dignity, employing the arts to champion social change.
“The Deans have been important champions of the work of Gordon Parks, and this exhibition is an opportunity to share his work with a broader audience through the outstanding platform offered by Harvard University,” said Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation. “The exhibition additionally builds on the Foundation’s strong history of collaborative programming with leading institutions in the mounting of exhibitions, conferral of scholarships, and mounting of public programs that engage the public with Parks’ legacy.”
The Dean Collection’s holdings span Parks’ entire career from his civil rights era images to fashion photography to portraits to lesser-known works. The exhibition will premiere a selection of highlights, including portraits of prominent civil rights leaders and cultural figures such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, images of life in Jim Crow-era rural Alabama, fashion pictures, and documentary photographs, along with many lesser-known images.