Two boys stand over an open casket, eyes fixed on a body lain on the white casket lining. The boys are dressed in worker’s clothes, two pockets on each side of their shirt with one button undone at the neck. Their friend lies beneath them, a flower tucked in the lapel of his suit. This photograph, in black and white, is one in a series of photos included in Gordon Parks’s photo essay “Harlem Gang Leader,” which depicts the life of Red Jackson, a leader of the Midtowners, a gang in Harlem. It is currently on display at the Addison, along with many of his other works.
Last Saturday, February 8, guests were invited to the Addison Gallery of American Arts Winter Opening Reception. This event celebrated the opening of new shoes including: Man Up! Visualizing Masculinity in the 19th-Century America, Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950, and A Wildness Distant from Ourselves. These shows are open and free to all visitors. The opening was meant to show the public the new art exhibits for this Winter at the Addison.
The Addison’s Interim Director, Allison Kemmerer said, “Well, one is we are just always super excited of what we have to offer. So, it’s a way to kind of announce to the outside world, “hey there’s something new here and we want to share it with you.” So it’s a nice way to celebrate what is always weeks of, or actually years of hard work leading up to the fruition of the project. But also a way to create a sense of excitement and hype that people are aware of something new that you should come see.”
Attendee Sallie said, “I think the Addison is just an amazing resource for the community and I became really familiar with it when my two daughters came to Phillips as students so I always enjoy partaking and it’s fun, and the food is generally good. So, that’s why I’m here.”
The Addison is a public resource available for anyone interested in art exhibits. According to Kemmerer, the openings are especially one way to unite all audiences, students and people outside campus.