Exhibition - Gordon Parks: Power of Photography

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

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The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is very pleased to present 'Gordon Parks: Power of Photography' featuring the 1943 photo essay by Gordon Parks documenting Mary McLeod Bethune, the school she founded, Bethune-Cookman University, and images of daily life in the surrounding segregated neighborhoods of Daytona Beach. Gordon Parks: Power of Photography will be on exhibit in the Polasek Gallery May 7 – August 18, 2024.

Recognized as one of the greatest modern photographers, Gordon Parks (1912-2006) possessed a unique photographic style and created exceptionally expressive pictures confronting the collective impact of poverty and racism within communities. Despite a lack of professional training Park’s
remarkable photographs allowed him to overcome the pervasive barriers of segregation and discrimination. His extraordinary talent was recognized, and he obtained a position with the photography section of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in Washington DC which later became the Office of War Information (OWI).

Working for these agencies, Parks was tasked to do more than simply document the nation’s social conditions but to capture the genuine emotion of the times and produce a powerful historical record. In January 1943, Parks was sent on assignment by the OWI to what was then a small Southern town, Daytona Beach, to photograph the acclaimed educator, Mary McLeod Bethune, and her surroundings.

The Polasek Museum is honored to exhibit Gordon Park’s 1943 photo essay from the collection of The Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona College. The exhibit will also include a display of vintage cameras loaned by Kiwi Camera in Orlando and a reproduction of a complete photographic darkroom. The educational film and darkroom photography display was created with the assistance of Winter Park documentary photographer Peter Schreyer, Executive Director and Senior Faculty Member at Crealdé School of Art. Peter has an international exhibition and awards record and celebrates the continued use and popularity of film photography in the digital age.

Dates: May 7 - August 18, 2024


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