Press & Media

Gordon Parks’s Color Photographs Show Intimate Views of Life in Segregated Alabama

Department Store, Mobile, Alabama,1956

by Jacqui Palumbo for Artsy When the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation with the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, there was hope that equality for black Americans was finally within reach. “But it was a quiet hope, locked behind closed doors and spoken about in whispers,” wrote journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault in an essay for  Gordon Parks’s Segregation Story (2014). “For… 

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“Review: Segregation Story,” Gambit

At first glance, many of these photographs of Alabama in 1956 suggest the mellow, nostalgic visions of traditional American life that we associate with Norman Rockwell’s illustrations or Ronald Reagan’s speeches.

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“CAC, Ogden, galleries host art openings for White Linen Night Saturday,” The Advocate

Not to be outdone, Arthur Roger Gallery will mark the occasion with three shows opening in its adjacent gallery spaces on Julia Street. Painter Francis X. Pavy explores issues concerning the Louisiana wetlands in a series of new works on view in the gallery’s main space at 432 Julia, while a suite of never-before-seen photographs from a 1956 Life magazine photo essay assignment by Gordon Parks (who was also the subject of a major exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art last year) will be shown next door at 434 Julia. An interactive digital video piece by New Orleans artist Robert Hannant in the gallery’s video room will round out the offerings.

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“A Radically Prosaic Approach to Civil Rights Images,” The New York Times

Throughout a century of oppression, photography served as a ray of light for black Americans, illuminating the humanity, beauty and achievements long hidden in the culture at large. By allowing a people to record and celebrate the affirmative aspects of their lives, the camera helped to countermand the toxic effects of stereotypes on their self-esteem.

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