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Gordon Parks Museum receives Evergy Community Investment Grant

Apr 17, 2023

Gordon Parks to reimage Gordon Parks Back to Fort Scott 1950 photos

The Gordon Parks Museum receives a $5,000 Evergy Community Investment Grant was awarded recently to the Gordon Parks Museum to support the “Back to Fort Scott, Now” project designed to reimagine a series of images taken in 1950 by the celebrated photographer.

On assignment for Life magazine in May 1950, Parks shot several photos to illustrate a story on segregated schools in America utilizing his classmates at Plaza School in Fort Scott.

The completed assignment, however, was never published. Although still somewhat of a mystery as to why the spread was never used, most likely, it was bumped first by the outbreak of the Korean conflict, then, a year later, by Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s dismissal as supreme commander of the armed forces by President Harry Truman.

In 2015, the project was rediscovered and made into a book, “Back to Fort Scott, and exhibition, which debuted at the Boston Museum of Art.The book and exhibition is the basis for the current project, which features the work of local, student and professional photographers, who will convene in Fort Scott from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 to recreate Park’s images from 73 years ago.

Collaborators include Michael Cheers of San Jose State University, Nick Homburg, Shreepad Joglekar and Katherine Karlin of Kansas State University, and Vivian Zavataro of the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita.

The photos are scheduled for display during the 20th annual Gordon Parks Celebration on Oct. 5-7 at Fort Scott Community College. Millers Professional Imaging of Pittsburg is printing the images, which also are to be included in two-volume book set and video documentary.

The Gordon Parks Photo is titled:

“Untitled , Fort Scott, Kansas, 1950“

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