Two Powerful Exhibitions Expanding Museum Audiences in the 1970s and 80s

NortonMuseumofArt
Sep 13 · 2 min read

Archivist Marie Penny discovers installation photography from the 1977 exhibition The Work of Charles White: An American Experience, and the 1984 exhibition The Photographs of Gordon Parks.

By Marie Penny, Archivist, Norton Museum of Art

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Installation photograph of The Work of Charles White: An American Experience, exhibition originated by the High Museum of Art, April 22-May 29, 1977

Director Richard Madigan (1974–1989) was committed to expanding the museum’s audience and spearheaded an exhibition program that was inclusive of the African American community in Palm Beach County. He brought solo exhibitions of two important contemporary African American artists to the Norton: The Work of Charles White: An American Experience in 1977 and The Photographs of Gordon Parks in 1984. Although White worked as a painter, draftsperson, and printmaker and Parks as a photographer, the two shared a commitment to creating powerful images of African Americans during the civil rights era.

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Installation photograph of The Photographs of Gordon Parks, exhibition originated by the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, May 5-May 29, 1984

Check out this video to learn more about exhibitions presented at the Norton that connected communities from the Palm Beaches and beyond.

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Norton Museum of Art

Stories about art shared from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach Florida.

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