Tuesday, August 21, 2018

From the Vault of Art Shay: Witness To The 1968 Democratic Convention

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

Via Chicagoist

"Time magazine opened and closed their eight-page story with big pictures of mine, but somehow overlooked my favorite. "Welcome Democrats," according to David Mamet—who covered the Convention as his first assignment—was the one picture that summed up the war between the army, police, Hippies and confused delegates. He bought a vintage 16"x20" print from me to hang over his writing desk. "It reminds me of where I came from, every morning. The quintessential portrait of Chicago in extremis."  (©Art Shay)

Art Shay, 1922- 2018, has taken photos of kings, queens, celebrities and the common man in a 60-year career. In 2012, Art reflected on the last time tensions between police and protesters exploded, as Chicago prepared for the NATO summit.)

"I don't have to pull down the well-researched committee indictment against the rioting police. I'm in the report, but all I have to do is look down at the three center fingers on my right hand, clubbed into insensitive, bent digits by the baton of a cop whose number I was copying down in the battle zone park across from the Hilton. He was wielding his baton mercilessly at a young, elusive college woman, aiming to draw blood from her suburban head protected only by an already red-dyed high school babushka. I was merely a target of opportunity for daring to point my Leica at this uniformed asshole as he swung, grunted and danced with the unbalanced effort of malfeasance.

The first Hippie I met was none other than Abbie Hoffman at the then-Y on Wabash near the Hilton. I pointed my camera at his wounded face, still puffy from six hours in police custody. "They grabbed me because of this." He pointed to his forehead on which the large word "FUCK" had been self-mercurochromed.

Welcome, Democrat.

Interrogated while being alternately beaten by three bullyaks, Abbie said he at first denied planning to poison the lake. "Then these guys got so preposterous I confessed to wanting merely to piss in the lake and poison everyone in Chicago." That's when they started punctuating their blows with grunts of "fag," "Hippie Commie," and worse.

He wouldn't let me shoot his picture for Time Magazine, "because no matter what you say, they'll take the police point of view... Republicans."

He did let me buy him the eggplant special for supper, a pre-Avatar sick shade of blue-green"

Poet Allen Ginsberg shown raising his hands in surrender to the police, 
Chicago Democratic Convention, 1968

Clear the Park, Chicago, 1968 

All photographs are copyright Art Shay and are available for purchase from Monroe Gallery of Photography.

Related: 1968: It Was 50 Years Ago Today

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tony Vaccaro - A Life For Moments

"Tony Vaccaro - A Life For Moments" is now on exhibit in Potsdam, Germany:

August 9 – September 9, 2018
Villa Schoningen, Tony Vaccaro: A life for Moments
Berline Strabe 86, Potsdam , Germany

View the full Tony Vaccaro collection available from Monroe Gallery of Photography here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

New book from Steve Schapiro: ALI

Via PDN News

In June, 1963, on assignment for Sports Illustrated, photographer Steve Schapiro traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to spend time with the young Olympic champion boxer Cassius Clay, and accompany him on a road trip to New York City. At 21 years old, Clay was yet to adopt the mantle of Muhammad Ali, but his boastful persona, intelligence, black pride, and sharp tongue were already fully formed.

Over the course of their five days together, Schapiro revealed both sides of the young Ali: the one side posing and preening for the camera, ever conscious of his image; the other, unguarded and unselfconscious, in candid images of the young fighter at home with his family and immersed in his community and neighborhood.

Ali collects the best of Schapiro’s images of the late fighter; many in print for the very first time. They offer a glimpse of a star on the rise. “It is an indelible portrait of the early life of one of the most talented, graceful, controversial, athletic, and influential American figures of the 20th century,” writes the publisher, powerHouse Books, in the press release.

Steve Schapiro is a distinguished photographer whose pictures have graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Time, Sports Illustrated, Life, Look, Paris Match, and People, and are found in many museum collections. He has published seven books of his work: American Edge, Schapiro’s Heroes, The Godfather Family Album, Taxi Driver, Then and Now, Bliss, Bowie, and The Fire Next Time

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Isabella Albonico flashes a knowing smile in "Guggenheim Hat", one of the new fashion images in the Plaxall Gallery show. ©Tony Vaccaro

Photographer Tony Vaccaro opens a seven week show at the massive Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City on Thursday, July 5 with a 7:00 pm opening reception. After more than 275 international shows in 50 years, it is the first time he will exhibit near his home. "The Maestro" retired to Long Island City in 1982. All sales inquires are handled through the Monroe Gallery of Photography.

The Plaxall Gallery, a jewel of converted industrial space, is organized and administered by the not-for-profit art advocacy group, Long Island City Artists (LIC-A). LIC-A promotes fine art, theater, dance, PTA, Girl Scouts, children's workshops, ESL classes at LaGuardia College, and more. Special thanks for making this show possible go to president Carol Crawford, Edgo Wheeler, Norma Hombergeir dedicated staff.

The Plaxall Gallery
525 46th Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

The Plaxall Gallery is open Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and weekends, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Currently Mr. Vaccaro is exhibited in Pescara, Italy, and has images at Los Angeles' Annenberg Space for Photography in their Library of Congress show, "Not an Ostrich". Mr. Vaccaro's other solo shows this year include an exhibit of 140 prints at Berlin's Villa Schoningen August 9 - September 9, a 56 print exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery in the heart of London August 6 - September 21, and an exhibition at the Monroe Gallery of Photography November 23 - January 20, 2019 in Santa Fe, NM. During the Monroe Gallery exhibition Tony will turn 96 in December.

The Berlin show is Mr. Vaccaro's largest since his 70th anniversary of D-Day show at Normandy's Memorial de Caen

The Plaxall Show will be the first curated by Tony Vaccaro's daughter-in-law, Maria Vaccaro, and will highlight many of the fashion images discovered by the Tony Vaccaro Studio. Maria has run the Tony Vaccaro Studio since 2016, and has been Tony's darkroom assistant since 1994. The Tony Vaccaro Studio opened in 2015 when Tony, aged 92, allowed his family to access his approximately 500,000 negatives, transparencies, and chromes. View the full Tony Vaccaro collection here.

Plaxall Gallery Hours
Saturday: 11AM – 6PM
Sunday: 11AM – 6PM
Thursday: 6 – 10PM
Closed: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri
Phone: (917) 287-3093

Tony Vacaro's photographs are on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar Avenue, Santa Fe, NM. The Gallery is open daily 10 - 5.

Monday, July 2, 2018

JULY 4, 2018

If you are near Santa Fe, participate in the 43rd Pancakes On The Plaza,  one of Santa Fe's favorite yearly events. Get all the details here.

Monroe Gallery will be open July 4 from 9 - 2, be sure to visit the exhibition Bill Eppridge: An American Master, on view through September 15, 2018.

©Bill Eppridge: White Barn, New Preston, Connecticut, 2017

Monday, June 4, 2018


On the night of Senator Kennedy's assassination in Los Angeles, LIFE was closing that week's issue. Bill Eppridge’s negatives were processed in Los Angeles by J.R. Eyerman, and then flown to the Time Life lab in New York for printing. The printer was Carmine Ercolano, and he made only one master print for reproduction purposes. The negative was very thin, and the face of the busboy had to be airbrushed to bring out his features. The airbrushing is visible on the print, as are the pencil instructions along the bottom in the white border. This master print was later copied on a 4 x 5 camera, in the Time Life lab, and all future reproductions were made using a copy negative.

The master print was given to Bill Eppridge by Doris O'Neill, then the Director of the Time Life Picture Collection, shortly after LIFE magazine ceased weekly publication in 1972. Bill Eppridge was reluctant to display the print in his home in Laurel Canyon, and he placed it behind a sofa. Sometime later, a canyon fire destroyed his home. When Bill returned to the house to retrieve belongings, he found the print had burned around the edges, but had survived the fire.

Writing in Black & White magazine in September, 2008, photography appraiser Lorraine Anne Davis stated:

"An artifact is a human-made object that gives information about the culture of its creator and its users, and reflects their social behaviors. An icon, from the Greek "image", is a representation that is used, particularly in modern culture, as a symbol representing something of greater significance.

"Several 20th-century photographs have attained icon status but few are considered artifacts. One example is Bill Eppridge's damaged photograph of Bobby Kennedy as he lay wounded in a kitchen passageway in Los Angeles.

"But how does one value such an object? What comparables are appropriate? Would it be possible to compare it with the film footage shot by Abraham Zupruder that captured President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963? That film was deposited with the National Archives in 1978 by the family for safekeepimg. In 1992 a Federal law required all records of the assassination be transferred to the National Archives, passing ownership to the government. It acknowledged that the Zapruder family was entitled to reimbursement as owners of private property taken by the government for public use, but establishing the value was difficult. the case eventually went to arbitration, and a three-member panel awarded $16 million to the family, the highest amount ever paid for a historical artifact. One of the panel members disagreed - he thought that $3 - $5 million would have been more realistic, as the family had always controlled the licensing of images from the film. The issue lay with the value of the original film strip as a collectible object. Since there have been no documented sales of any other historically significant original film strips, the dissenting member of the panel felt the value was in the image and not in the film strip itself.

Like the film, the burned photograph belongs in a national museum - however, valuing it will be difficult because the event and the object are so emotionally charged that it will be difficult for any appraiser to remain dispassionate."

New York Times Lens: 50 Years Later, the Story Behind the Photos of Robert Kennedy’s Assassination

Bill Eppridge was one of the most accomplished photojournalists of the Twentieth Century and captured some of the most significant moments in American history: he covered wars, political campaigns, heroin addiction, the arrival of the Beatles in the United States, Vietnam, Woodstock, the summer and winter Olympics, and perhaps the most dramatic moment of his career - the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles. Over the last 60 years, his work appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Life, and Sports Illustrated; and has been exhibited in museums throughout the world.

Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is honored to announce an extensive exhibition of more than 50 photographs by Bill Eppridge (1938 – 2013). The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, June 29, from 5 - 7 PM with Eppridge’s wife and longtime collaborator Adrienne Aurichio in attendance; and continues through September 15, 2018.

A new book of Eppridge’s photographs, “Becoming Barbra”, presents a never-before-seen look at Barbra Streisand as she was becoming a star. From the humble beginnings of Barbra Streisand’s career in 1963 to full-fledged stardom in 1966, Eppridge had full access to the young singer. “This is the first book of Bill’s photographs that he did not live to see published … It took so long because many publishers didn’t want to publish the book without Barbra’s approval”, said Aurichio, who will be signing copies of the book during the opening reception.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

ART SHAY: MARCH 31, 1922 - APRIL 28, 2018

Michelle Monroe, Art Shay, Sidney Monroe
Monroe Gallery of Photography, October, 2016

We are very saddened to announce the passing of American photographer Art Shay. The Chicago Tribune carried the news of his death and called him a "giant of 20th century Chicago".

National Civil Rights Museum: In Memoriam - Art Shay: his work is prominently featured in the  museum’s newest exhibition MLK50: A Legacy Remembered

Photo District News: Obituary: LIFE Photographer Art Shay, 96

Chicago Tribune Obituary: Remembering photographer Art Shay, 96, whose lens captured Ali, Brando, Brooks and ordinary Chicago

Chicago Sun Times: Art Shay, legendary photographer, dies at 96

Born in 1922, he grew up in the Bronx and then served as a navigator in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, during which he flew 52 bomber missions. Shay joined the staff of Life magazine as a writer, and quickly became a Chicago-based freelance photographer for Life, Time, Sports Illustrated and other national publications. He photographed seven US Presidents and many major figures of the 20th century. Shay also wrote weekly columns for various newspapers, several plays, children's books, sports instruction books and several photo essay books. Shay's photography is represented by Monroe Gallery of Photography and is in the permanent collections of major museums including the National Portrait Gallery and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Shay was honored with the Lucie statue for Lifetime Achievement in Photography during the Lucie Awards gala ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York October 29, 2017. Below is the video introduction featuring Michelle Monroe of Monroe Gallery of Photography.

2017 Lucie Awards Honoree: Art Shay, Lifetime Achievement from Lucie Foundation on Vimeo.

Just a few days ago, Chicago Magazine published an article titled "Legendary Photographer Art Shay Tells His Remarkable Story".

Monroe Gallery was very honored to feature his work recently during the 2018 AIPAD Photography Show, and in the gallery's current "LIFE in Pictures" exhibit.

In recent days, Art told his friends and family he wanted us to learn from his work what life was like when he was alive. His work will be treasured by many for generations.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Legendary Photographer Art Shay Tells His Remarkable Story

We were pleased to feature many of Art Shay's photographs during the recent AIPAD Photography Show in New York, and the current gallery exhibit "1968: It Was 50 Years Ago Today" includes several of Shay's 1968 photographs. In 2017, Art Shay received the Lucie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Photography.

Via Chicago Magazine
April 13, 2018

Legendary Photographer Art Shay Tells His Remarkable Story
The photographer, 96, on Liz Taylor, JFK, and almost killing Jimmy Stewart

My father taught me as a kid that anything you can see, you can photograph. He gave me his Kodak camera, a very doughty instrument that was capable of making great snapshots, and I began developing pictures in the basement. I built an enlarger out of a coffee can and emptied out a coal bin for my darkroom.

A photo is a biography of a moment that would otherwise have gotten away.

I became a lead navigator during World War II. I survived the famous Kassel mission, where 31 B-24 Liberators didn’t make it back. And I had a Leica shot off my chest in a fighter attack and got through that OK. I knew I could become powder all the time, but it never bothered me. I never really, in my heart of hearts, believed it could happen to immortal old me.

Jimmy Stewart was my commanding officer. We looked alike and sounded alike and were fucking the same girl. Our crew almost killed him by mistake. We had started making artificial buzz bombs—the V-1 German bombs. It was a four-inch metal pipe on a metal stand, about four feet high, and we’d just aim and shoot it out. One day Jimmy was coming out of the officers’ mess, and debris from one hit him. He looked up at our group of four conspirators and said, “That’d be a fine fuckin’ way for Jimmy Stewart to die, wouldn’t it?”

My first published pictures were of a midair collision. I had eight shots left on my beat-up old Leica, an orange filter on it ready for the sky, and the shutter at 500. I heard this roar overhead, and there were 50 Liberators. Two of them hit, and they started to go down. I got a hundred bucks for it.

My wife, Florence, taught me that I am better and smarter than I really am. She was known as the best of the photographers’ wives at Life magazine. She could get me off of a ladder in Seattle on a Friday afternoon and have me on deck for a Sports Illustrated football game the next day in Kansas City.

My son Harmon was a character. He went off the IQ charts at 200. The whole house is cluttered with his inventions. He was murdered in the hippie jungles of Florida in 1972, just two weeks before his 21st birthday. You don’t get over that. I often cry when I’m driving alone. What a waste it was.

Nelson Algren was Harmon’s godfather. I have a postcard someplace with his advice to Florence. He said, “Tell the kid never to eat at a place called Mom’s, never to play poker with a guy named Doc, and never to sleep with a woman who has more troubles than his own.”

I’m very good at hiding cameras on me. I learned that from an old Life photographer, my mentor Francis Reeves Miller. He was a little guy from Texas who looked like Santa Claus and drank 20 film containers of straight rye whiskey on every job.

Elizabeth Taylor was the loveliest woman I’d ever met, and she had the humor of a Bronx housewife.

I did 83 Mafia stories, if you can digest that. The last one was in a grass alley in New York. I went into it with my little Leica and telephoto, and there were all these guys playing poker on either side. They looked up, and there’s Life magazine. A couple of guys drew their guns. I knew they weren’t gonna shoot me, and they knew they weren’t gonna shoot. But it’s still unsettling when someone points a gun at you.

The one time John F. Kennedy spoke to me, I was loading film down at the 1960 debates at CBS in Chicago. He said, “Where can a fella take a whiz around here?” He was conscious, but not too conscious, of who he was. His whole attitude toward the world was, “Fuck you.”

Don’t invest too much in your own immortality, if at all.

Art Shay
Photograph by Richard Shay

View Art Shay's photography here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Monroe Gallery of Photography at the 2018 AIPAD Photography Show

Monroe Gallery of Photography is very pleased to again be exhibiting at The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD. One of the world's most prestigious annual photography events, The Photography Show is the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, offering a wide range of museum-quality work, including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs as well as photo-based art, video, and new media. We will be exhibiting important selections from 20th and 21st Century photojournalists and documentary photographers in our booth #413.

Recently, documentary evidence has been denied or disputed by those in power, and coupled with the US administration's attacks on the press, the exhibit is a reminder that photojournalism is a vital and necessary component of a free society. View selections from our AIPAD Photograph Show 2018 exhibit here.

Highlights include Ryan Vizzions dramatic photographs from the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock in 2016-7; a selection of images depicting the tumult of the year 1968; photographs portraying the immigrant experience of contemporary Syrian refugees alongside an image of  migrant laborers and one of immigrant workers detained for deportation during “Operation Wetback” in 1955;  a magnificent large-format color photograph documenting the detail of bales of recycled wire by Stephen Wilkes; and historic work by Art Shay and Tony Vaccaro, both now 95 years old.

We are especially excited to have Tony Vaccaro present in our booth for most days of the Show. During World War II, although he was denied access to the Signal Corps, Tony was determined to photograph the war and had his portable 35mm Argus C-3 with him as he fought on the front lines of the war in Europe.  Tony went on to become one the most sought after photographers of his day, working for LIFE, LOOK, and numerous fashion and advertising campaigns.

During the Show, The Screening Room will show "Underfire: The Untold Story of PFC Tony Vaccaro". An Emmy-award nominated HBO documentary, the film tells the story of how Tony Vaccaro, a 21-year old WWII infantryman, smuggled his $47.00 portable camera into battle to create one of the most comprehensive and intimate records of the war. The Screening Room is one of many special projects being produced for the 38th edition of The Photography Show and is curated by award-winning filmmaker Mary Engel (Director, Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive

We are very honored to have two photographs selected by Sir Elton John for his curated AIPAD member exhibition "A Time for Reflection". A Time for Reflection seeks to inspire, comfort, challenge and ultimately show the strength of photography and its ability to be literal and metaphorical.

We hope you may be able to visit us during the show!