‘Sharp and Subversive’ Scenes of Integrated 1940s Summer Camps 

Gordon Parks's Photos of Black and White Kids at Play Resisted Segregation in Nature and Beyond by Presenting a Vision of America as He Hoped It Could Be

One day in 1923, three white boys pushed 11-year-old Gordon Parks into the Marmaton River in rural Kansas. Parks couldn’t swim and he tumbled under the surface, the current pushing his small body along. He hoped he would somehow find himself washed ashore, far away.

“Swim, Black boy, or die!” his assailants shouted as he floated away.

Twenty years later, in the summer of 1943, Parks was at a summer camp in upstate New York, taking photographs of white and Black children at play in a lake. His near-drowning must have been …

Where Tulare Lake Once Was, a New Telling of California’s History | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where Tulare Lake Once Was, a New Telling of California’s History

Jesse Amble White’s Photographs Show Modern Landscapes That ‘Push Back at the Moment’

All but one of these photographs of California by Jesse White come from California Exposures, a book that he and I, his father, did together. Like all photographs, they don’t …

The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Through Photography, Science Has Given Humanity a Sense of Itself

When the Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977, it was equipped with a camera to chronicle its travels through the cosmos. One of the images that astronomer Carl …

Can Muscle Cars Really Fly? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Muscle Cars Really Fly?

Matthew Porter’s Photographs of an American Symbol Conjure Dreamlike Worlds

Muscle cars are a quintessential American symbol: fast, powerful, and entirely impractical. But perhaps it’s their impracticability that makes these gas-guzzling, aggressively loud vehicles coveted by so many. Having a …

Are Horses ‘God’s Most Perfect Design’?

Keith Carter’s Enigmatic Photographs Reveal the Invisible Bonds Between Humans and Animals

Keith Carter began to take his own pictures after he happened upon one of his mother’s color prints when he was 19. His mother made her living as a studio …

Dawoud Bey’s Unwavering Candor

The Chicago-Based Photographer’s Portraits Chronicle the American Experience

To understand how the past 40 years have revolutionized the way we see cities, look at the first and last chapters of a new book on the long and distinguished …