Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, his body of work documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights, and urban life. Parks photographed for the Farm Security Administration and Standard Oil before becoming the first black staff photographer for LIFE magazine, where he worked for more than 20 years.
Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era. His photographs are in many public collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Library of Congress, Washington, DC.