Selected highlights from Art Shay's archives | Slideshows | Chicago Reader

Selected highlights from Art Shay's archives 

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Art Shay
The first picture Art ever took of Florence, at Camp Winston in the Catskills, 1942.
Art Shay
Florence mimicking one of the shots Shay's friend Philippe Halsman took for a series for Life on smooching.
Art Shay
Shay frequently used his family in photos. This is a scene from his book What Happens When You Make a Phone Call, part of a long series that explained the world to kids.
Art Shay
The Shays explore a downtown hotel room for one of Art's assignments.
Art Shay
Crossing the country in a GM station wagon for another story, 1964.
Art Shay
"There were a lot of photos of Florence being a mom," says Erica DeGlopper. "There was chaos going on around her. She's calm and the kids are wild. It's very honest in a way that's refreshing."
Art Shay
Florence in front of Titles, Inc., the rare and used bookstore she owned in Highland Park for 40 years.
Art Shay
Shay is very fond of puns. Here's Barry Goldwater in 1964, apparently in a shower of gold.
Art Shay
The Catcher in the Vines, 1961
Art Shay
The Pause That Refreshes, 1950. Coca-Cola offered to buy the negatives for pictures like this one, which the company felt did not depict its product in the most flattering way. Shay refused.
courtesy Art Shay
Some of the shots Florence got of Moe Dalitz with her purse camera in Vegas in 1961.
Art Shay
In 1950, Simone de Beauvoir was living with Nelson Algren in a $10 a month apartment on Wabansia in Bucktown. It had no bathtub. "He couldn't get her into the Division Street Y for a bath or a shower, this major feminist writer, because she was a woman," Shay recalls. "So he called me up and said, 'Borrow me a bathroom someplace.' That's how that picture came about."
courtesy Art Shay
Shay's only cover for Life, 1966.
Art Shay
Jeff Fort, 1968
Art Shay
Robert Earl Hughes, the half-ton man, 1958. He weighed 1,040 pounds and his waist measured 14 feet. "It never ran," Shay says, "because Life had a policy not to run anything that would upset people while they were eating their breakfast."
courtesy Art Shay
Shay and the strongman, 1971.
Art Shay
Shay always carried his camera with him, even on bombing missions during the war. Hamburg, 1944.
Art Shay
Iowa Gothic., 1954. "I was coming home from Des Moines where I was shooting Khrushchev on a farm. I saw that couple in the sunset light. It was irresistible to me."
courtesy Art Shay
Shay showing Hugh Hefner his little black book, 1967.
Art Shay
At the Lincoln Park Zoo. Shay says this photo happened completely by chance.
An all-night beauty salon on Ashland Avenue, where Simone de Beauvoir used to get her hair done. "This is one my favorites," Shay says, "because the models are what we all want to look like, but the lady over there is what we really look like."
Art Shay
From Shay's 1955 trip to Africa with Marlin Perkins. DeGlopper was surprised to discover he shot just as much in Kodachrome as he did in black and white.
Art Shay
Richard Nixon on LaSalle Street, 1968. "You can really tell who he liked and who he didn't," says DeGlopper.
Art Shay
A hooker offers to spend an afternoon with Nelson Algren for $3, the cost of the booze they would consume. The sign in the background says it all.
Shay loves incorporating signs into his photos. He took this one in 1967.
Art Shay
From Shay's Northbrook Court series, 1989. "These are the quintessential tired grandparents."
Art Shay
This 1966 shot from a doll factory is one of Erica DeGlopper's favorites.
Big Tuna Passing Big Lion: Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo after a 1959 court appearance. "I shot that one from across the street with a telephoto lens," Shay remembers. "I followed him out of the courthouse. I'll be disappointed if he doesn't go 60 feet from the lion to the walls of the Art Institute."
courtesy Art Shay
Art and Florence show off their hidden cameras on their way out to capture some mobsters, 1958.
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Art Shay
The Shays explore a downtown hotel room for one of Art's assignments.

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