@ National Portrait Gallery
DescriptionTo Gordon Parks, the camera was "a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs." The youngest of fifteen children and a high school dropout, Parks was a pioneer in the world of photography and filmmaking. In 1948, he became the first African American photographer to be hired at Life, the largest circulation magazine of its day. For more than two decades he created compelling images that addressed the important issues of the moment, including the civil rights movement. During this period, he also photographed celebrities and fashion models for Vogue and Glamour. Beginning in the late 1960s, Parks added filmmaking to his list of creative pursuits, and his 1971 hit movie Shaft is regarded as an important prototype in the "blaxploitation" genre. Arnold Eagle pictures Parks at work on a documentary project for Standard Oil.
Gelatin Silver Print
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution