Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography

October 6 through November 19, 2017

For over 70 years, Art Shay has documented life, combining his gifts of storytelling, humor and empathy. Art Shay will be honored with the Lucie statue for Lifetime Achievement during the Lucie Awards gala ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York October 29, 2017.The Lucie Awards is the premiere annual event honoring the greatest achievements in photography

Art Shay was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1922. During World War II, he was lead navigator on 30 missions in the Eighth Air Force. His service, which also includes 23 combat supplies missions, earned him five Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the French Croix de Guerre. He is credited with shooting down one Focke Wulf 190, a German fighter plane.

Shay has pursued photography since his teens, and he took his first Leica to war with him. His first published photographs—documenting a mid air collision over his English Air Base—were printed in a September 1944 issue of Look magazine. Upon returning to civilian life, Shay wrote Sunday features for the Washington Post before becoming a staff reporter for Life magazine. In San Francisco at age 26, he became Life’s youngest bureau chief. His specialty was story ideas and he wrote text and captions for photographers such as Alfred Eisenstaedt, Peter Stackpole, Wallace Kirkland and Francis Miller.

In 1951, Shay left his staff position at Life magazine and became a freelance photographer. He found success shooting for major magazines including Life, Time, Fortune, Ebony, Sports Illustrated, The Saturday Evening Post and The New York Times Magazine. Shay earned a reputation for getting the shots editors wanted. As former editor of Life and Fortune Roy Rowan put it, “Art Shay’s extraordinary talent lies in capturing the human spirit of all those who come before his lens.” Shay’s images range from photographs of nine US Presidents, to the early 1960s Post cereal box baseball card photographs. His his last formal assignment was in 1988, when he shot the night the lights went on at Wrigley Field for Time Magazine.

"Be Kind Now", 1950

Ernest Hemingway, War Correspondent, 8th Air Force Headquarters, High Wycombe, England, 1945

Marlon Brando, The Little Mohee, Liberty, Illinois, 1950

Marlon Brando and family dog, Libertyville, Illinois, 1950

Hoover Hotel, 1954

Sisters, Chicago, 1949

Emergency Treatment, Chicago, 1949

The Ice Man, Chicago, 1949

Sunday Morning on Madison Street, 1950

U505 Submarine and Sisterne bathers, Chicago, 1954

Coney Island Threesome, 1947

Smoking Dog, 1971

Back Alley Joy, 1965

Backyard Olympics, 1958

Supporters of Segregationist Realtors, Jefferson Park, Chicago, August 1966

The Symbol, Chicago, 1960

Muhammed's Grandchild in Center with Black Muslim Sisters, 1969

James Baldwin, 1962

Martin Luther King, Jr., at the R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in Memphis, 1968

“Welcome Democrats” Hilton Hotel, Michigan Avenue, August 1968, Democratic Convention

Martin Luther King speaking speaking at Soldier Field in Chicago during a large "freedom rally" which focused on housing discrimination, 1966

Chicagoans around pump 12

3 to 4 Ages of Women, 1950

“Doggie Dos”, 1963

Hugh Hefner in His Office Bedroom at Chicago Mansion, 1967

Hula Hoop Craze, Chicago, 1959

Nixon on La Salle Street, Chicago, 1968

“Two Chiefs”- John F. Kennedy Receives Native American Request, 1960

John F. Kennedy on the Hustings, Cleveland, 1960

John F. Kennedy, South Dakota, 1960

“Fuck Communism”, Dan Sorkin, Chicago, 1963

Nelson Algren at his Chicago home site as it is being wrecked for a new expressway, 1957

Simone deBeauvior, 1950

Nelson Algren Being Dealt to by the Real Life Man with the Golden Arm, 1949

Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) 1961

Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, 1961

Vince Lombardi, 1962

High School Hangout


The Supremes, Hitsville, Detroit, 1965

The Rat Pack, Sands , Las Vegas, 1961

Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, 1966

Muddy Waters and his wife, Geneva, 1950

Johnny Ray Fans, New York, 1951

the Last Carousel, Riverview Amusement Park, Illinois, 1964

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