Unseen Gordon Parks Photographs released in new Book

Art & Culture

The critically acclaimed African American photographer Gordon Parks’ work is the focus of a new book called “The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957”. 

The photography featured in the new book was first featured in Life magazine many years ago after Gordon Parks was asked to travel the breadth of America profiling criminality beyond the stereotypical lens of expectation. The photographs which he took were an honest, insightful portrait of crime in the USA removed from the glamour and glitz of the Hollywood portrayal of underworld life at the time. The new book features photographs which were featured in the magazine alongside material never previously seen or released as part of the same series. 

The Gordon Parks foundation released the following statement alongside the release of the book:

“Parks rejected clichés of delinquency, drug use and corruption, opting for a more nuanced view that reflected the social and economic factors tied to criminal behavior and a rare window into the working lives of those charged with preventing and prosecuting it. Transcending the romanticism of the gangster film, the suspense of the crime caper and the racially biased depictions of criminality then prevalent in American popular culture, Parks coaxed his camera to do what it does best: record reality so vividly and compellingly that it would allow Life’s readers to see the complexity of these chronically oversimplified situations.”

Buy the book HERE. Photography from ‘The Atmosphere of Crime’ (1957) by Gordon Parks © The Gordon Parks Foundation