Half Past Autumn

Gordon PARKS

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PARKS, Gordon. Half Past Autumn. A Retrospective. Essays by Philip Brookman. Boston: Bullfinch / Little, Brown, (1997). Large quarto, original laminated blue photographic wrappers.

First edition in wrappers of this lavish retrospective tribute to Parks, “among the most influential image makers of the postwar years” as a photographer for Life and director of films such as Shaft (1971), illustrated with 95 color and 195 duotone images, an association copy from the library of photographer Margery Lewis Smith, longtime partner of photographer W. Eugene Smith.

“The first African-American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine and the first black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, The Learning Tree (1969), Gordon Parks… ranked among the most influential image makers of the postwar years” as a cofounder of Essence magazine and director of additional films such as Shaft (1971). Throughout his celebrated career, Parks challenged “stereotypes while still communicating to a large audience, and it cemented his reputation as a humanitarian photojournalist and as an artist with an eye for elegance… His portraits of Malcolm X (1963), Muhammad Ali (1970) and the exiled Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver (1970) evoked the styles and strengths of black leadership” (New York Times). These powerful images, together with his electrifying series on Duke Ellington, his portraits of figures such as Gloria Vanderbilt and Ingrid Bergman, his provocative look at segregation, are only some of the highlights of his groundbreaking career that are found within. Published less than ten years before Park’s death at 93: coincident with the traveling exhibit of the same title organized by the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, D.C. Issued same year as cloth edition, no priority established. With text by Parks and essay by Philip Brookman, photography curator at the Corcoran. Illustrated with 95 color and 195 duotone images. This association copy is from the library of photographer Margery Lewis (Smith). The longtime partner of renowned photographer W. Eugene Smith, the images of Lewis Smith were featured in Steichen’s Family of Man exhibit at MoMA.

A fine copy with a memorable association.

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