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MoMA Acquires 56 Photographs from Gordon Parks’s Groundbreaking 1957 Series “The Atmosphere of Crime”

The Museum of Modern Art

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The Museum of Modern Art has acquired 56 prints from American artist Gordon Parks’s series of color photographs made in 1957 for a Life magazine photo essay titled “The Atmosphere of Crime.” The Museum and The Gordon Parks Foundation collaborated closely on the selection of 55 modern color prints that MoMA purchased from the Foundation, and the Foundation has also given the Museum a rare vintage gelatin silver print (a companion to a print Parks himself gave the Museum in 1993). A generous selection of these prints will go on view in May 2020 as part of the first seasonal rotation of the Museum’s newly expanded and re-envisioned collection galleries. The collection installation Gordon Parks and “The Atmosphere of Crime” will be located on the fourth floor, with Parks’s work as an anchor for exploring representations of criminality in photography, with a particular focus on work made in the United States.

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Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, New York, New York 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 13 ¾ x 21″ (35 × 53.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, Chicago, Illinois 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 11 7/8 x 17 15/16″ (30.1 x 45.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, Chicago, Illinois 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 13 ¾ x 21″ (35 x 53.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Raiding Detectives, Chicago, Illinois 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 11 7/8 x 17 15/16″ (30.1 × 45.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Drug Search, Chicago, Illinois 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 11 7/8 x 17 15/16″ (30.1 × 45.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, Chicago, Illinois. 1957. Gelatin silver print, 19 ¼ x 13″ (48.9 × 33 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Gordon Parks Foundation. © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006). Untitled, San Quentin, California. 1957. Pigmented inkjet print, printed 2019, 11 7/8 x 17 15/16″ (30.1 x 45.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © The Gordon Parks Foundation