Gordon Parks Museum - Fort Scott, Kansas
The Gordon Parks Museum has opened in a 4,000 square foot facility in the Fine Arts Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College. Part of the Gordon Parks Center for Culture and Diversity, the museum is only scheduled open during the school year but may be toured at other times by appointment. It will be another year before all of the exhibits are complete, but I enjoyed the small museum devoted to Parks, who grew up in Fort Scott, Kansas.
One of the focal points of the museum is the Gordon Parks Collection, which was Gordon Parks gift to Fort Scott in honor of his parents Sarah and Andrew Jackson Parks and includes over 50 of Parks' autographed photographs and 14 samples of his poetry. This is the largest collection of signed Gordon Parks work outside of the Library of Congress.
My favorite works in the Parks collection are Gordon Parks' black and white photographs from World War 2 and the western United States. A nice display of those photos is on display at Mercy Health Center in Fort Scott.
Gordon Parks was a successful photographer, writer, poet, and film director. He may be best known for directing the movie Shaft, and writing & directing The Learning Tree, portions of which were filmed in Fort Scott and neighboring communities.
During the first weekend of October, the Center hosts the The Gordon Parks Celebration of Culture and Diversity. 2010 was the 7th year for the celebration, which featured screenings of Parks' films, presentations, music, and tours of Gordon Parks' Fort Scott.
copyright 2009-2011 by Keith Stokes