History is being made at Howard University after the renowned historically Black institution received more than 250 photographs captured by legendary photographer Gordon Parks. On a mission to preserve the legacy of the icon, The Gordon Parks Foundation continues to make his work available to the public.
Parks’ artwork dates all the way back to the 1940s and spans across generations. It includes photos taken during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s as well as images of supermodel Iman during the 1970s and fellow storyteller Spike Lee in 1990.
“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 Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr.
The Gordon Parks Legacy Collection will be featured at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center located at Howard. It was acquired by the school as part-gift, part-purchase.
“Howard University is proud to be the recipient of such an important collection of work by African American artist and photojournalist Gordon Parks. Mr. Parks was a trailblazer whose documentation of the lived experiences of African Americans, especially during the civil rights period, inspired empathy, encouraged cultural and political criticism, and sparked activism among those who viewed his work,” said Howard University President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick. “Having a collection of his timeless photographs in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center will allow Howard University faculty, students, and visiting scholars to draw on his work and build upon his legacy of truth-telling and representation through the arts.”
Parks was one of the first Black high-profile photographers whose work was featured in magazines like Life, Vogue, EBONY and beyond. His overall mission was to bring awareness to civil rights and poverty across America.