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Gordon Parks: Camera Portraits from the Corcoran Collection

Upcoming Exhibition

July 14, 2024 – January 12, 2025

See powerful portraits by one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.

Gordon Parks: Camera Portraits looks at a celebrated American photographer and how he forged a new mode of portraiture after World War II. Parks blended a documentary photographer’s desire to place his subjects where they lived and worked with a studio photographer’s attention to dress, character, and expression. In doing so, he believed he could create portraits of individuals that addressed their cultural significance. He applied this approach to such American icons as boxer Muhammad Ali and conductor Leonard Bernstein, as well as to a Harlem gang leader and to a Detroit couple, revealing the humanity and cultural dignity of each person.

This exhibition, drawn primarily from the Corcoran Collection, presents some 25 portraits Parks made between 1941 and 1970. Explore Parks's innovations in portraiture through some of his best-known photographs. Learn how his portraits speak to larger stories of the civil rights movement, the African American experience, and American culture.

Selected Works

Dive Deeper

Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

The exhibition is curated by Sarah Greenough, Senior Curator & Head of the Department of Photographs, National Gallery of Art 

The exhibition is made possible through the leadership support of the Trellis Fund.

Admission is always free and passes are not required

Banner detail: Gordon Parks, Husband and Wife, Sunday Morning, Detroit, Michigan (Bert Collins and Pauline Terry),  1950, printed later, gelatin silver print, Corcoran Collection (The Gordon Parks Collection), 2016.117.150