Image Copyright Restricted

Untitled (Rosie Cleaning the Bathtub)

Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006)


33.8 x 23.7 cm (13 5/16 x 9 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art, Photography



Gordon Parks held a deep-seated belief in photography as a tool for social change. Completely self-taught, he dedicated much of his long career to recording the lives of his fellow African Americans, discovering that the camera could be a powerful “weapon against poverty and racism.” In the 1940s, Parks began working for picture magazines, including Vogue and Life, tackling such wide-ranging subjects as Harlem gangs, Paris fashion shows, the slums of Rio de Janeiro, and iconic black figures-Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Eldridge Cleaver, among others. His sympathy for the backbreaking labor of menial jobs is reflected in this photograph of a young woman bent over her work in a rundown tenement, looking older than her years.


Life photography stamp and notations verso GPar823


Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY; G.W. Einstein Co., New York; 2002 sold to MFA

Credit Line

Sophie M. Friedman Fund


Courtesy and copyright of The Gordon Parks Foundation.