Fields of Vision: The Photographs of Gordon ParksThe Library of Congress
Introduction by Charles Johnson. Series statement by W. Ralph Eubanks. Series editor Amy Pastan
Published by GILES in association with the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
Published — September 2011 (UK and USA)
Dimensions — 64 pages, 180 x 180 mm (7 1/8 x 7 1/8 in.)
Illustrations — 50 colour illustrations
Format — Paperback
ISBN — 978-1-904832-87-4
“We wanted to find images that you haven’t seen…We also wanted to choose photographs that documented the human condition, rather than just the Great Depression.” W. Ralph Eubanks, director of publishing at the Library of Congress, quoted by Deirdre Van Dyk, Lightbox.Time.com
“A gem of a book” James Estrin, The New York Times Lens blog
“The portrait of Ella Watson, American Gothic, became a famous expression of outrage at the treatment of black people in America thanks to the moment with Watson and the positioning of the American flag in the background.” Tim O’Brien, F-Stop
“Despite the racial pressures, what I had learned within the year [at FSA] outdistanced the bigotry I encountered… . I had been forced to take a hard look backward at black history; to realize the burdens of those who had lived through it.” Gordon Parks
“Clearly, the life of Gordon Parks was washed by all waters. He leaves a legacy that is luminous for its prodigious creativity and contributions to American culture, for at no time during his inspiring odyssey did Parks lose sight of our shared humanity.” Charles Johnson on Gordon Parks
About the Book
Following on from the publication of the first six books featuring The Library of Congress’ internationally renowned collection of Farm Security Administration (FSA) and Office of War Information (OWI) photographs, the series continues with images chosen from the works of Gordon Parks. Born in 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas, the youngest of fifteen children in a poor tenant-farming family, Parks was working odd jobs in Minnesota when he saw the work of FSA photographers in a magazine and was inspired to buy a camera. His early pictures landed him a position as Roy Stryker’s apprentice in 1942. Among his extraordinary FSA photos is “American Gothic,” which shows charwoman Ella Watson posed with mop and broom against an American flag. After the FSA, Parks worked at Life magazine. He also became a respected writer and film director. He died in 2006.
About the Author(s)
Dr. Charles Johnson is a novelist, essayist, literary critic, short-story writer, cartoonist, and professor emeritus at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is a MacArthur Fellow and the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature and a National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage.