Explore, learn more about the Beach Museum of Art's Gordon Parks exhibition through new digital catalog
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and English department have teamed up to explore further the life and works of iconic photographer, filmmaker and native Kansan Gordon Parks through a new open-access digital catalog, "Gordon Parks: 'Homeward to the Prairie I Come.'"
The book is in conjunction with the recent "Gordon Parks: 'Homeward I Come'" exhibition at the Beach Museum of Art and presents new research about Parks, his relationship with his home state and how he used Kansas as a source of reference and inspiration. Available to view or download free through the university's New Prairie Press, the book is part of the K-State Gordon Parks Project initiated by the museum and English department. It was edited by Aileen June Wang, Beach Museum of Art curator.
Several participating institutions contributed material to the book, including the Gordon Parks Museum, Gordon Parks Foundation, Humanities Kansas and more. The book reproduces many of the curated photographs donated by the photographer to K-State and features essays by faculty and staff from the Beach Museum of Art and K-State's English department, including Wang, Mark Crosby, Linda Duke, Katherine Karlin, Cameron Leader-Picone, Sarah Price and Karin Westman. The essays provide intimate biographical snapshots of pivotal periods in Parks' life.
Deborah Willis, head of the photography and imaging department at New York University's Tisch School of Arts, reviewed the book for New Prairie Press.
"The format of the book offers a new and unique method of connecting art, photography, film and biography," Willis writes. "In reading this, the reader begins to imagine the life of a photographer who envisioned justice and attempted to realize it through his photographs and storytelling through his personal experiences. The power of his personal story is integrated with the personal, cultural and politics of a time when he lived and worked in the field of photography addressing the challenges and triumphs of Black people in America."
To view or download the "Gordon Parks: 'Homeward to the Prairie I Come,'" go to newprairiepress.org/ebooks/45.
Although the gallery exhibition of the "Gordon Parks: 'Homeward to the Prairie I Come'" at the Beach Museum of Art is now closed, it can still be viewed virtually at beach.k-state.edu/explore. The virtual exhibition offers a 3D-tour option and other special features.
The museum is at 701 Beach Lane on the southeast corner of the K-State campus. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Free parking is available adjacent to the building. To catch a livestream event or view exhibitions online, go to beach.k-state.edu/explore, or watch videos of the museum's special programs and events on its YouTube channel, beach.k-state.edu/videos. For calendar of events in the Art in Motion annual program series, visit beach.k-state.edu/calendar.