Dead Blogging ‘Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott’ at the MFA

Well the Missus and I trundled down to the Museum of Fine Arts the other day to catch Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott and, say, it was . . . stirring.

From the MFA website:

Gordon Parks, one of the most celebrated African American artists of his time, is the subject of this exhibition of groundbreaking photographs of Fort Scott, Kansas—focusing on the realities of life under segregation during the 1940s, but also relating to Parks’s own fascinating life story . . .

In 1950, Parks returned to his hometown in Kansas to make a Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 1.10.53 AMseries of photographs meant to accompany an article that he planned to call “Back to Fort Scott.”

Fort Scott was the town that he had left more than 20 years earlier, when after his mother died, he found himself—a teenager and the youngest of 15 children—suddenly having to make his own way in the world. He used this assignment to revisit early memories of his birthplace, many involving serious racial discrimination, and to reconnect with childhood friends, all of whom had attended the same all-black grade school as Parks. One of the most visually rich and captivating of all his projects, Parks’s photographs, now owned by The Gordon Parks Foundation, were slated to appear in April 1951, but the photo essay was never published.

It’s available now, though. You should see these mesmerizing photos – and read all the labels – before they leave on September 13th.

Representative sample:




P.S. The Missus and I also caught the Rothchild Family Treasures, Gustave Klimt’s Adam and Eve, and 100 Years of Ceramics while we were there. The hardlooking staff and others have had their issues with director Malcolm Rogers over his 20-year tenure, but there’s no denying he’s turned the MFA into something special.

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1 Response to Dead Blogging ‘Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott’ at the MFA

  1. Funny that it’s 1950 – the porch pic seems right between the 40’s and the 50’s.

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