Collections

>   Portrait of Mrs. Lucy Johnson
Portrait of Mrs. Lucy Johnson
7.5" x 7"
Gelatin silver print
1942

Gordon Parks was an acclaimed African American photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer best known for the work he produced during more than 20 years as a photographer for Life magazine. This black-and-white portrait of Mrs. Lucy Johnson, thought to be the grandmother of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche, presents her as an experienced and strong female presence. She is seated in a rocking chair with her head lifted and eyes focused intently ahead. The vertically angled positioning of Johnson’s hands, one downward toward her lap and the other upward gripping a cane, is mimicked in both the straight back of the rocking chair and her steady and still posture.