After seeing the Gordon Parks exhibit now showing at Harvard’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, it was clear that the work has a lot to offer to children who may not be aware of this time period in history.
The music industry titans, who married in 2010, are proud art collectors and own the largest private collection of work by Parks, the renowned photographer who captured African-American life in the 20th century.
“WHAT HAS MORALITY WON US?” This provocative question, posed by Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer, activist, and professor at New York University School of Law, lingered in the room on the second day of the “Vision and Justice” conference at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean and his wife Alicia Keys don’t exactly remember the first time they came across the work of photographer Gordon Parks. That’s completely understandable because the photographer’s images—which span from fashion to portraits of life during the Civil Rights Movement—were intertwined within the pages of magazines like Life, for which he took countless pictures, including the 1950 cover of baseball player Jackie Robinson and wrote and shot a feature for the 1968 story “The Negro and the Cities”; or Vogue, for which he shot swan-like models in the latest couture from... Read more about Forbes: 'Swizz Beatz And Alicia Keys Want You To Go To Harvard To Learn About Gordon Parks'
Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz are sharing a selection of gems from their artistic treasure right over the river in Cambridge, having just come to town to help open the exhibit, Gordon Parks: Selections From The Dean Collection, at The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art within Harvard’s Hutchins Center.
A moment can mean many things to many people. It could refer to a certain perceived set of extant subject matter, living or inanimate, interacting in real time and possibly worthy of the well-timed snap of a camera shutter.
What does a Bronx-born hip hop producer and art collector have in common with one of the most iconic photojournalists of all time? Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean and Gordon Parks have both been gatekeepers of African-American narratives. Dean and his wife Alicia Keys, own the largest private holdings of Gordon Parks’s photography. A new exhibition, Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection, is on display at Harvard University’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery into July 2019.
The water-slicked hand clawing up from beneath the waves feels urgent, panicked. Not very Gordon Parks, but I think that’s the point. The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at Harvard University is hosting a key sampling of the famed African-American photojournalist’s work from the collection of Kasseem Dean and Alicia Keys — dozens of pictures shot for Life and Vogue magazines, ranging from Harlem gangs and Malcolm X to fashion to celebrity portraits. But this is the one that gets me.
Launched to consider the roles of art and culture in establishing the narratives of people of color, the conference was inspired by a course taught by Sarah Lewis ’97, assistant professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies, who also moderated parts of the event.
Kasseem Dean, known in the music world as Swizz Beats, was used to seeing Gordon Parks’ photographs in meetings with business partners and at the homes of friends who were not African American. It was far more unusual to see the artwork in front of the people Parks represented.
"In terms of representation and volume, we have to work on both fronts," says Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and board member of the Whitney Museum of Art. "The Whitney is never going to have only black art in it or the Met. For American culture to be represented, it must be integrated."