Remembering Gordon Parks

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Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was by all means a Renaissance man, and a trailblazer. Over the course of his career he was a photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director (popular culture will remember him best for directing the movie “Shaft”).

This afternoon Metropolitan State University is honoring Parks, a St. Paul native, by renaming its gallery “The Gordon Parks Gallery.” Starting at 4pm there will be a ribbon cutting, jazz, a program with photographer Wing Young Huie, and screenings of Parks’ films.

Fittingly, the first exhibition in the newly named gallery is a retrospective of Parks’ own work. In addition to working both in the Office of War Information and for Vogue, Parks spent two decades snapping photo essays for Life magazine. One of his most famous portraits was actually an early work, “American Gothic, Washington D.C.”

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American Gothic, Washington D.C.

A true photojournalist, Parks covered everything from fashion to sports, from Broadway to poverty, as well as racial segregation.

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