A conversation and slide presentation by Deborah Willis on the work of iconic photographer Gordon Parks will take place at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art on November 16, followed by a reception. “A Hungry Heart: Gordon Parks” is free and open to the public. Willis, one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography, chairs the department of photography and imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is a contributor to a five-book series, Collected Works: Gordon Parks, forthcoming in late fall 2012.
Friday, November 16, 6 p.m.; reception to follow
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
2001 Campus Dr., Durham, North Carolina
Gordon Parks would have been one hundred years old on November 30, 2012 (he died in 2006, at 93). In 1942 he joined the Library of Congress’s Farm Security Administration as the first [Julius] Rosenwald Fellow in photography, and in 1948 became the first African American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine. In his twenty years at the influential publication, he sought to challenge stereotypes while still appealing to a larger audience, producing photo essays on a broad range of topics before embarking on his successful career as a film director (The Learning Tree and Shaft, among others).
An exhibit of Parks’s 1956 Life series on segregation—The Restraints: Open and Hidden—is on view at the Center for Documentary Studies through March 2, 2013. The exhibit coincides with Duke University’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the enrollment of African American students; for more information on the year-long series of events, beginning in January 2013, click here.