Eggs gathered by a student, Bethune-Cookman College

by Gordon Parks

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Artist Statement

While working with the FSA, Parks honed his photographic ethos and style, permeating his practice with powerful images that explored civil rights, the socioeconomic impact of racism, and Black American life. He shot Eggs gathered by a student, Bethune-Cookman College in 1943 while on assignment at Bethune-Cookman College—a private, historically-black university in Daytona Beach, Florida. As the title suggests, this image pictures the hands of a student collecting eggs at the school farm. The agricultural program tasked students with tending to chickens, cows, hogs, and other animals, teaching functional, efficient farming methods in the process. In his photograph, Parks commemorates that endeavor with respect, and the result is seriously striking.

Why We Love It

The eggs are in sharp focus, a shallow depth of field blurring the hay-strewn background. This keeps the attention on the fragile beauty of those gleaming shells, the subtle, gorgeous variation in their grays. Parks caught the crisp shadows cast by the midday light, creating a contrast-rich image that elevates something as simple as an egg to an object of splendor, the gathering of them to an art-form. Two brown hands steady the smooth ovoids on a platter, custodians of their eggish elegance. The hands are strong but feminine, and a swath of what looks like a corduroy skirt further suggests the student pictured is a woman. The eggs are the spoils of her efforts and symbols of self-nourishment. Parks’ close-up composition and considerate minimalism in capturing Eggs gathered by a student, Bethune-Cookman College reflect the care put into the program and the college’s intention to educate its students and arm them with practical knowledge ... More on the blog!

Details

+ Limited-edition, exclusive to 20x200
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available

Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.

Medium:

Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta

Edition Structure:
8"x8" | edition of 10
11"x11" | edition of 200
16"x16" | edition of 25
20"x20" | edition of 10
30"x30" | edition of 5

Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was a photographer, musician, writer, and film director. His best-known work was in documentary photojournalism, consisting of images he made in the U.S. from the 1940s to the 1970s, focusing on issues of civil rights, poverty, and the lives of African-Americans. His work as a photographer and filmmaker was barrier-breaking: he was the first African-American photographer at LIFE and Vogue, and one of the first African-Americans to produce and direct major motion pictures such as Shaft.  Parks was born in 1912 into a poor and segregated life in Kansas. Drawn to photography after seeing images of migrant workers in a magazine, he picked up... Read More
a camera from a pawnshop and taught himself to use it. Despite a lack of formal training, he was hired by the Farm Security Administration. It was there Parks developed his style, creating powerful images that explored the socioeconomic impact of racism. After the FSA closed, Parks worked as a freelance photographer, shooting for both fashion magazines and photographing humanitarian issues. He was hired at LIFE Magazine, where he would remain for twenty years and for whom he would create a wide range of iconic images. Many of these photographs became symbols of activism, rallying support for the growing Civil Rights Movement, which Parks believed in deeply and documented often. Over the course of his career, Parks won numerous awards, gained over fifty honorary doctorates, directed several films, and wrote a best-selling novel. He continued photographing until his death in 2006.
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