Photography collection showcases Gordon ParksWritten by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
For millions of people, the name Gordon Parks will forever be connected to the 1971 film “Shaft.” But as the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA)’s latest exhibition shows, his career can be viewed from many different angles. “Bare Witness: Photography by Gordon Parks” is set to open in the TMA’s Canaday Gallery on Feb. 5.
The collection, which was originally organized by Stanford University’s Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, spans several decades and artistic periods in Parks’ career, including his famed days with Life Magazine,
covering iconic cultural figures, such as Muhammad Ali and Eldridge Cleaver.
“Though I was somewhat familiar with Parks, the tough part of working on this show was all of the research, just bringing myself up to speed,” said TMA Exhibit Curator Tom Loeffler. “We first received the exhibition proposal from the Cantor Center in late 2007, and that’s when I really started examining his life and work, during that review process.”
Parks, who got his start as a freelance fashion photographer in St. Paul, Minn. would gain prominence in Chicago, after coming to the attention of the wife of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis and later winning a photography fellowship with the Farm Security Administration. Parker died in March, 2006.
“I absolutely think that Parks’ work is just as socially relevant in today’s culture because the themes that he spoke to, racism, inequality and other social injustices are still things that we deal with today,” Loeffler said.
“Bare Witness: Photography by Gordon Parks” will remain on display through April 25. The exhibit is free. For more information, call (419) 255-8000 or visit www.toledomuseum.org.
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