Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 is History

Good-bye 2016. Hello 2017.

"All of us live in history, whether we are aware of it or not, and die in drama. The sense of history and of drama comes to a man not because of who he is or what he does, but flickeringly, as he is caught up in events, as his personality reacts, as he sees for a moment his place in the great flowing river of time and humanity.

I cannot tell you where our history is leading us, or through what suffering, or into what era of war or peace. But wherever it is, I know men of good heart will be passing there."

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Peace, Love, and Happiness

Peace, love, and happiness

in the New  Year.

Thank you for your continued encouragement and support.

We look forward to seeing you in the gallery soon, or visit us

during the Photo LA Fair in Los Angeles January 12 - 15;

 at the AIPAD Photography Show in New York March 30 - April 2;

or on-line anytime.

 Art Shay: Harmony in Snow, Des Plaines, Illinois, 1955

Monday, December 19, 2016


Newly liberated women in Nante, along the North bank of the Loire River, celebrate their freedom, Nante, France, July, 1944

We are very proud to wish Tony Vaccaro the happiest of birthdays on the 94th anniversary of his birth!

Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1922, Tony Vaccaro spent the first years of his life in the village of Bonefro, Italy after his family left America under threat from the Mafia. Both of his parents had died by the time he was eight years old and he was raised by an uncaring aunt. When World War II broke out, the American Ambassador in Rome ordered Tony to return to the States. He settled in with his sisters in New Rochelle, NY where he joined his high school camera club.

A year later, at the age of 21, Tony was drafted into the war, and by the spring of 1944 he was photographing war games in Wales. By June, now a combat infantryman in the 83rd Infantry Division, he was on a boat heading toward Omaha Beach, six days after the first landings at Normandy. Denied access to the Signal Corps, Tony was determined to photograph the war, and had his portable 35mm Argus C-3 with him from the start. For the next 272 days, Tony fought on the front lines of the war. He entered Germany in December 1944, a private in the Intelligence Platoon, tasked with going behind enemy lines at night. In the years after the war, Tony remained in Germany to photograph the rebuilding of the country for Stars And Stripes magazine. Returning to the States in 1950, Tony started his career as a commercial photographer, eventually working for virtually every major publication: Flair, Look, Life, Venture, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Quick, Newsweek, and many more. Tony went on to become one the most sought after photographers of his day.

On November 14. 2016 HBO Films premiered “Under Fire: The Untold Story of Private First Class Tony Vaccaro”. The film tells the story of how Tony survived the war, fighting the enemy while also documenting his experience at great risk, developing his photos in combat helmets at night and hanging the negatives from tree branches. The film also encompasses a wide range of contemporary issues regarding combat photography such as the ethical challenges of witnessing and recording conflict, the ways in which combat photography helps to define how wars are perceived by the public, and the sheer difficulty of staying alive while taking photos in a war zone. The film is available on demand from HBO.

Tony's remarkable oeuvre was exhibited in the Pop Up "War, Peace, Beauty" exhibit in New York November 14 - 21. Watch the official video of Tony's retrospective (courtesy of

Monroe Gallery will feature a selection of Tony Vaccaro's  photographs at the 26th annual Photo LA Fair, January 12 - 15, at the Reef/LA Mart. The Gallery will also exhibit Tony's photographs, including rare vintage prints, at the AIPAD Photography Show March 30 - April 2 at Pier 94 in New York.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

John Loengard's Book "Moment by Moment" featured in The Guardian

Via The Guardian

John Loengard: Georgia O’Keeffe on the roof of her home at
Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, in 1967

John Loengard was formerly both a staff photographer and the picture editor of Life magazine, and in the preface to his new book says that ‘a good photograph cannot be repeated’. Moment by Moment published by Thames & Hudson contains 133 images from his career spanning five decades.

Full slide show.

View more of John Loengard's photographs on our website here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Harry Benson: Shoot First" at CCA in Santa Fe

Via Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe

Renowned photographer Harry Benson initially rose to fame alongside The Beatles, having been assigned to cover their inaugural trip to the United States in 1964. With unprecedented “behind the scenes” access, Benson captured some of the most vibrant and intimate portraits ever taken of the most popular band in history. His extensive portfolio includes iconic images of Winston Churchill, Bobby Fischer, Muhammad Ali, Greta Garbo, Michael Jackson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, and his work has appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Justin Bare and Matthew Miele’s film shows how Benson, now 86, shows no intention of stopping. (U.S., 2016, 87m, Magnolia Pictures) Starts December 16

Center for Contemporary Arts • 505.982.1338
1050 Old Pecos Trail Santa Fe, NM 87505

Streaming information here.

Related: Washington Post: ‘Harry Benson: Shoot First’ breezes through the photographer’s story

  Rolling Stone: 'Harry Benson: Shoot First' Review: Photographer Doc Is Stellar Portrait of an Artist

Monday, December 12, 2016

Stephen Wilkes' "Yosemite, Day to Night" Among National Geographic's "Best Photos of 2016"

National Geographic recently announced their "Best Photos of 2016".    In a  gallery of National Geographic's 52 best images of the year—curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs. Stephen Wilkes' photograph of Yosemite, Day To Night, was included as selection #29:

On a mountainside in Yosemite National Park, photographer Stephen Wilkes took 1,036 images over 26 hours to create this day-to-night composite.

This photo was originally published in "How National Parks Tell Our Story—and Show Who We Are," in January 2016.

View Stephen Wilkes' full Day To Night Collection here.

Related: See our full compilation of 2016 lists of the "Best" of all things photography here.

Monday, December 5, 2016

THE "BEST" OF 2016

Here we go again. The lists begin earlier every year: everyone's photography "Best of" lists. As 2016 becomes history, below is what has become an annual tradition: our compilation of what the web selected as the "best" of all things photography 2016.

In Memoriam: Remembering the Photographers We Lost in 2016

"Best" Photographs

Middle East Monitor: The Year in pictures

Mirror: Pictures of the year The most shocking and powerful images from 2016

Irish Times: 2016 in pictures: Irish news and politics

Albuquerque Journal: A year in focus

The Week: The year's best photojournalism

Daily Herald: Here are some of The Herald’s best photographs of 2016

The Salt Lake Tribune’s best photos of 2016

West Milford Messenger: A look back at 2016 in pictures

Big Picture: The best Boston Globe photos of 2016

The Best VICE Photos of 2016

2016 TheWrap’s Original Photography in Review

Telegraph: Barack Obama's 2016 Year, Photos by Pete Souza

NY Times: In the Moment: Photographs From 2016

BBC: Africa's 2016 in pictures Greece: 2016 in pictures

Telegraph: Animal photos of the year 2016

Medium/The White House: Behind the Lens: 2016 Year in Photographs

Swim Swam: Best Swimming Photos 2016: Above the Surface

NY Times: The Best Styles Photography of 2016

Washington Post: 2016 was a great year for weather photography. Here are the best shots

Seattle Times: Watch: 2016 pictures of the Year

The Guardian: Our favourite Australian photos of 2016

Evening Standard: Pictures of the year: The best photographs from 2016

EuroNews: Pictures of the year 2016

International Business Times: The year's most powerful photos of the migrant crisis

TIME: The Best Drone Photographs of 2016

Hindustan Times: India in images: 2016 HT photographs that you must absolutely click through

BBC: The UK in 2016 as seen by Press Association photographers

Politico’s Best Photos of 2016

The Guardian: Our best portraits of 2016 – in pictures

Telegraph photographers' pictures of the year 2016

Al Jazeera's best photos of 2016

Washington Post: Our most memorable photos of 2016

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: 2016: A Year in Photos

Washington City Paper: Looking For Something: The best images exhibited in D.C. this year

Boston Globe The Big Picture: 2016 Year in Pictures: Part I

Boston Globe The Big Picture: 2016 Year in Pictures: Part II

Quartz: The most moving, striking images from a year of terrible news

Grimy Goods’ Best Concert Photography of 2016 The 27 photographs that took our breath away in 2016

BBC: Year in pictures 2016

Highlights from the Year in New Yorker Photography

The Guardian: The funniest and most unusual animal photos of 2016

Christian Science Monitor: Our best photos of the year 2016

Politico Europe: Most powerful photographs of 2016

The Guardian: The best photographs of 2016 - in pictures

Images: Daily Herald's best photos from 2016 Top 10 Santa Fe Instagram Photos of 2016

A year in photos: CAR magazine's best 2016 pictures The year in photos 2016

BBC: In pictures: Twelve months, twelve frames

Rueters: Pictures of the year: Oddly

The Express Tribune: 38 iconic pictures of 2016

Bleed Cubbie Blue: The 10 Best Chicago Cubs Photos of 2016

Telesur: Europe 2016 in Pictures

New Statesman: Memes of 2016: What this year’s viral images will teach future historians

Wall Street Journal: Year in Photos 2016

CNN: 2016: The year in pictures

MIT Technology Review: Our Best Photographs of 2016

The Guardian: The best photographs of 2016 from across the US

WCPO: Staff photographer's top 9 photos of 2016

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 2016: A year in Post-Gazette photos

STRAVA: The Best Photos of the Year

The Best Photographs FADER Took This Year

The Year in New Yorker Instagrams

Magnum: Martin Parr presents his edit of the 2016 photographers’ choice pictures of the year

Greenpeace: 2016 – The year in photos

Artsy: The Most Powerful Moments of Photojournalism in 2016

CBS News: 2016 Instagrammer of the year

USA Today: 2016: The year in pictures

ESPN: Iconic moments of 2016

HELLO! The Year in Pictures 2016

Vegas Seven: 2016 In Decline: The Year in Pictures

WNYC: Photography Roundtable: The Most Powerful Images of 2016

Business Insider: 50 stunning moments captured by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photography team in 2016

PHOTOS: 2016 Pictures of the Year from The Denver Post    

Metro: The most memorable photos of 2016

NY Times: The Year in Pictures 2016

NY Times: Choosing the New York Times Pictures of the Year

USA Today: 2016: One photo from every day

The 30 most stunning photos Business Insider took in 2016

Guardian photographer of the year 2016: Carl Court

Kansas City Business Journal: Year in Review: Best photographs of 2016

TIME: 50 Astonishing Animal Photos of 2016

Wall Street Journal: 2016 The Year in Review

A year through the lens: Nelson Mail's best sports photographs of 2016

NBC News:  The Year in Pictures: 2016

Federal News Radio:   2016 in pictures: Best photo galleries of the year

Silicon Republic: Enjoy some of the best award-winning photographs of 2016

International Business Times: The year in pictures: The 100 most memorable photos of  2016

Catch News: NASA releases top 16 photos of the Earth for 2016

Quartz: The very best drone photography of 2016

Up Worthy: 23 incredible photos from 2016 that prove it wasn't a total dumpster fire

British Journal of Photography: Kathy Ryan’s Best of 2016

The Guardian: 2016 Eyewitness: our summary of the defining images of the year The 100 Best Space Photos of 2016

Courier-Mail 2016 has been one of the most dramatic years ever, these are the pictures we will never forget

The Guardian: Jonathan Jones's top 10 art exhibitions of 2016

Digital Trends: These 20 Dronestagram photos take a look at 2016 from the skies

Market Watch: The Must-See Photos of 2016

CNN: Travel Photographer of the Year: 2016 winners revealed

WTOP: Top Google searches in 2016 (Photos)

TIME: The Best Space Photos of 2016

NPPA: Links for 'Best of the Year' Photo Galleries

New Atlas: 2016 from above: Some of the year's finest drone photography

A Look Back to L.A. Weekly's Best Photojournalism of 2016

Baltimore Sun/The Darkroom: 2016 Baltimore Sun pictures of the year

The Atlantic: 2016: The Year in Photos, September–December

The Atlantic: 2016: The Year in Photos, May-August

The Atlantic: 2016: The Year in Photos, January-April

L'Oeil De La Photographie:  The Best Of The Eye 2016

TIME: Best Sports Photos of 2016

LA Times: The top 10 art museum exhibitions of 2016, plus the worst trend of the year

TIME: The Best Weather Photos of 2016

What Culture: 30 Best WWE Photos of 2016

Al Arabiya: Part 1: 10 of the 100 best pictures of 2016

Photojournalink: 2016 in Pictures

TIME: The Best Weather Photos of 2016

AP: 2016 Photos in Review - News

AP: 2016 Photos in Review - Features

AP: Top Europe & Africa feature photos from 2016

AP: Top Europe & Africa news photos from 2016

AP PHOTOS: Best Feature Images From Latin America in 2016

AP: Top Europe & Africa sports photos from 2016

The Indian Express: Defining pictures of 2016: From Syria civil war to US elections, a glimpse into the year that was

ABC News: The Best Images of the Year: 56 Captivating Photos of 2016

The Onion’s Best Photojournalism Of 2016

The Guardian: Travel Photographer of the Year 2016: the winners – in pictures

The Oregonian: Our favorite music photography of 2016

TIME’s Best Photojournalism of 2016

Daily Mail: News agency AFP releases its best photographs of the year 

Bloomberg's Best Photos of 2016

CNN: 2016: The year in pictures

Hartford Courant: The Year In Pictures 2016

Maclean’s picks the top photos of 2016

TIME’s Best Portraits of 2016

Tufts Now: The Year in Photos 2016

TIME: The 10 Best Photos of 2016

Bloomberg: Watch our Video of The Best of the Year 2016 Photos

The Guardian: Photographer of the year – 2016 shortlist: Trump, refugees and the battle for Mosul

TIME: Wire Photographer of 2016

USA Today: 2016 Celebrity Phots of the Year

Business Insider: The most incredible nature photos of 2016

Newsday: 50 best sports photos of 2016

NOOR: 2016 Year in Review

Mashable: Man behind THAT Usain Bolt photo picks the best sporting shots of 2016

The Guardian: Sean O'Hagan's top 10 photography exhibitions of 2016

Associated Press: PHOTOS: 2016 in Review

The top 10 inspiring photography projects on Creative Boom in 2016

Tampa Bay Times: All Eyes Gallery, Cherie Diez's favorite photos of 2016

TIME: Ruddy Roye is TIME’s Pick for Instagram Photographer of 2016

The Atlantic: Top 25 News Photos of 2016

National Geographic: Best Photos of 2016

TIME: Top 100 Photos of the Year

Gizmodo: 2016's Supposed 'Photo of the Year' Is a Big Fat Fake

Rueters: Pictures of the year 2016

Powder: The 2016 Photos of the Year

Tampa Bay Times: All Eyes gallery: Lara Cerri's favorite photos of 2016

ArtNet: Here Are the World’s Most Instagrammed Museums of 2016

Daily Mail: Winners of categories in The Nature Conservancy 2016 Photo Competition

World Press Photo: 2016 Photo Contest

Audubon: The 2016 Audubon Photography Awards: Top 100

AOL: The 40 best Reuters photos of the year so far

USA Today: The best landscape photographs of 2016

Newsweek: The 10 Most-Liked Instagram Pictures of 2016 Revealed

National Geographic: Travel Photographer of the Year 2016

BBC: Wildlife Photographer of the Year - People's Choice

Straits Times: 8 iconic photos, videos and memes that best sum up 2016

IBN: Best Pictures From The 2016 Presidential Election Campaign Trail

Globe and Mail: AFP Sports Photos of the Year 2016

CNN: Haunting image of reservoir wins best architectural photograph of 2016

CNN: The best sailing pictures of 2016

TIME: The Best Astronomy Photos of 2016

Nation Geographic: The Winners of the 2016 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Wall Street Journal: Nature's Best Photography Awards

Time Lightbox: Best iPhone Photos of 2016

Belfast Telegraph: UK Mountain Photo of the Year 2016

MSN: The 100 best pictures of 2016

New Atlas: World's best architecture photography brought into sharp focus

Chicago Tribune: Skokie Through the Lens showcases best of Skokie through amateur photos

Delaware 105.9 Talk: Winners are revealed in 2016 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest

BEST Photobooks



Lens Culture: 2016 Photobooks of the Year, Part II: 32 Personal Favorites        

NY Times: The Best Photo Books of 2016

The Guardian: The best photography books of 2016

American Photo: The Best Photography Books of the Year: 2016

Lens Culture: Critically Acclaimed: Experts' Top 14 Photobooks of 2016

1000 Words Magazine: Top 10 Photobooks of 2016

Colin Pantall's Blog: The Best Books of 2016:

Crave: The 5 Best Photography Books of 2016

pdn: Notable Photo Books of 2016: Part 1, 2, and 3

Photo Eye: The Best PhotoBooks of 2016 

The NY Times: A Spotlight on the Season’s Top Photography Books

Financial Times: Best books of 2016: Art & photography

Smithsonian: The Best "Art Meets Science" Books of 2016

HAF: The 17 Best Socially Concerned Photobooks of 2016

TIME Selects the Best Photobooks of 2016

Best Gear

The B&H Photography Podcast Presents "The Year in Cameras, 2016"
The Photoblographer: The Biggest Innovations in Photography in 2016

Digital Trends: Best Products of 2016: Photography

Popular Photography: 2016 Pop Awards: The Best Camera and Photo Gear of the Year

PC Advisor: Best phone camera 2016/2017

and a peek ahead to 2017

Neiman Lab: Predictions for Journalism 2017

2015 Edition here.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


A new monograph on the iconic American Life photographer John Loengard

As John Loengard writes in the preface to this monograph, “The truth is: a good photograph cannot be repeated. This may be why a photograph of a brief moment, an instant in time, can hold our interest forever.” Moment by Moment is an intriguing selection of many moments in John Loengard’s long career. His subjects include movie stars, writers, politicians, artists, and other photographers, as well as normal people engaged in a host of extraordinary activities―or, rather, typical activities rendered unforgettable or of enduring interest by the photographer’s vision. From a shimmering Marilyn Monroe to a brooding T. S. Eliot, from a now almost sinister silhouette of Bill Cosby to an iconic shot of the Beatles, from an Etonian to a boy in the streets of Manchester, as well as ranchers, sweepers, picnickers, and fellow photographers, Loengard’s vision moves and delights us with his humanity and artistry.

Moment by Moment enlarges our understanding and deepens our appreciation of Loengard’s photographs. 135 duotone photographs.

View John Loengard's photographs at Monroe Gallery here.

The Telegraph: The man who shot The Beatles, Ronald Reagan and Louis Armstrong

Monday, November 28, 2016

Photographer Art Shay at Monroe Gallery

Art Shay: Muhammad's Grandchild With Black Muslim Sisters, 1969

Via The Santa Fe New Mexican

 Friday, November 25, 2016           
The veteran photographer and writer Art Shay cites Honoré Daumier as a longtime inspiration for his focus on civil rights, social justice, and crime. The 19th-century caricaturist taught me to aim my predatory camera at the contumely, at snobbery, pretensions, cruelty, and the machinery of petty power,” Shay writes in his 2000 book Album for an Age: Unconventional Words and Pictures from the Twentieth Century. “Daumier was the only master I really recognized,” Shay told Pasatiempo in mid-November, “because I figured out that what he had done and the time he had done it, like the mid-1850s with a sketchpad, was an extraordinary achievement. I feel that some of my pictures capture some of what he was trying to capture.”
A retrospective of Shay’s images as a street photographer and from assignments with Life, Sports Illustrated, and other magazines, is now on exhibit at Monroe Gallery of Photography, and Shay plans to be there for the opening on Friday, Nov. 25. The last time he was in New Mexico, he was an air cadet — it was World War II, and he would soon be serving as a navigator in a Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber on more than 50 missions.
Shay was born in 1922 and grew up in the Bronx. In a 2013 piece about his years at Life, he writes that his father, Herman Shay, was once friends with Leon Trotsky in Russia but “had a falling out with him. He came to America and ended up in the family trade, a semi-employed tailor during the Depression who taught me chess and gave me a lifetime reverence for Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Hemingway. He taught me to be a mensch and how to forgive. And as a bar mitzvah present in 1935, he gave me his folding Kodak.”

Shay sometimes had occasion to use a camera in the war years. “As a matter of fact, I began my real photo career at an air base,” he said. “After landing from a mission, I heard this great noise in the sky, and I looked up, and there were 200 planes gathering around a buncher beacon, which is a radio signal; they were all going out on another mission, and two of the Liberators suddenly hit, and 20 kids were killed. I had seven pictures of them coming down from impact to the ball of fire on the ground.”

After the war, Shay was employed for two years as a staff writer at Life magazine. He wrote about those times in a 2011 story in the Chicagoist. “The best show,” he wrote, “was the great Life photographers and contributing geniuses like Ansel Adams who desultorily milled around on the 31st floor where most of the magazine happened. The day I met Adams, a big, balding outdoorsy man, he was flummoxed by the very first electronic flash, sent by Heiland, a Milwaukee strobe firm. ‘Imagine — not having to use flashbulbs!’ Adams exclaimed to Margaret Bourke White.” She then told the story of the time during the war that a flashbulb accidentally exploded as she was posing Joseph Stalin; afterward, the Soviet leader demanded she give him the film she had exposed as he hid behind a sofa.

Art Shay: "be Kind Now", c1950

In 1949, Shay began working on a freelance basis for Life, Time, Sports Illustrated, and other magazines. A small sample of his deep portfolio boasts pictures of Marcel Marceau, the Supremes, Vince Lombardi, Jimmy Hoffa, Johnny Cash, Nikita Khrushchev, nine U.S. presidents, Cassius Clay, Judy Garland, and Timothy Leary. There are also hundreds (or thousands) of images of non-celebrities, the results of his candid work as a street photographer, which included a series of explorations of Chicago with writer Nelson Algren during the 1950s. Shay also worked with photographer Francis Reeves Miller on about 40 stories. According to the Chicagoist piece, Miller was the one who taught him “the art of hiding cameras in shoe shine boxes, briefcases, cigarette lighters, in elaborate bow ties, in holes in jackets my wife would come to hate. He taught me the art of the stakeout, especially of Mafia types.”

More than 70 books bear Shay’s authorship. “There were a lot of kids’ books,” he said by way of explanation. “I raised five kids, and I did things to answer their questions: ‘What happens when you mail a letter, daddy?’ ‘What happens when you put money in the bank?’ ” So his resumé includes What It’s Like to Be a Nurse and What Happens in a Car Factory, as well as 40 Common Errors in Golf and Winning Racquetball; in 2012, this veritable Renaissance man was inducted into the National Racquetball Hall of Fame.

Among the images in a 2002 book titled Animals are Kentucky Derby thoroughbreds and monkeys in little racing cars. “As a Life reporter,” he writes in those pages, “I named the first pair of octopuses that mated in captivity.” His 2003 book Couples has some splendid photographs of couples — and of a couple of pigs, a couple of men outside Ed’s Tap & Restaurant, a couple of nuns, and a couple of clowns. He also wrote several plays. His most recent book is My Florence, a photo-essay on his beloved wife, who died in 2012. “She was a famous rare-book dealer and the friend of a lot of writing types and acting types,” he said. “We just sent an invitation to one of them, David Mamet.”

Another book is now in the works at University of Chicago Press. Its subject will be the same as was featured in last year’s Shay exhibition at the Gage Gallery in Chicago. Called Troublemakers, the show focused on “the chaos Chicagoans experienced in their fight for civil rights from 1948 to 1970,” according to a gallery description. “One of the images is of black people with a sign that says, ‘If you believe in human rights, Mr. Mayor, how come there are no blacks in your neighborhood?’ It’s about the ironies of social change,” Shay said. “There are pictures of kids demonstrating, a lot of police brutality, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and also a lot of good kid pictures and some others about a human-rights battle in my own community, Deerfield, Illinois, in the early 1950s. There’s lots of action and lots of violence. I’ve always been the go-to photographer in Chicago for this kind of picture, as well as for intellectual sports pictures like the guy in the vines.”

It was less than two weeks after the Chicago Cubs had stunned the sports world by winning the World Series, and we had already discussed Shay’s great 1961 photo of an outfielder trying to catch a fly ball while almost totally submerged in the famous ivy at the back of Wrigley Field. The image shows a line of fans leaning out of the stands reacting to the baseball about to enter the gloved hand sticking out of the tangle of vines.

Asked about favorite cameras over the years, Shay said, “I was mostly a Leica user, an experimenter, and I’d adapt to all kinds of activities. My background was as a reporter and then a bureau chief at Life magazine; I was the youngest bureau chief. When I was twenty-six or twenty-seven, I was head of the San Francisco bureau. I still have a bunch of cameras and camera parts that I gaze at fondly every now and then. And I would design trick cameras for certain uses. I did about 80 Mafia stories — with a hidden camera, usually. My wife was my assistant, and she had a favorite purse camera, with which she nailed the head of the Cleveland Mafia, a guy named Moe Dalitz, who was two tables away.”

The Monroe Gallery show features 50 photographs, a pithy sampling from a very long career. “I’ve had something like 1,200 magazine covers,” Shay said. “That’s a lot of comings and goings and packings and unpackings.”

Thursday, November 24, 2016

History Seer: Art Shay’s America

Marlon Brando and family dog, Libertyville, Illinois, 1950
Art Shay

Via The Santa Fe Reporter
Image result for sf reporter

November 23, 2016

Lifelong photojournalist Art Shay says that his favorite photo shoot was with the legendary Marlon Brando. He tells SFR—during a phone interview from his home in Chicago—that the superstar asked Shay for lady tips. “We were both the same age, about 27. He said, ‘Well, you’ve been around Life magazine a long time. Can you tell me how you know if a young woman is coming after you—is she really hot for you, or is she trying to advance her career?’”
Shay says he answered with age-old, sage advice: “I advanced the same argument that had been historically advanced, which is, ‘You have to figure some things out for yourself.’”

Now 94, Shay helped cultivate the iconography of American history throughout his 70-year career working for publications such as Life and Time magazines. He’s captured nine presidents and countless celebrities, and his work is in the permanent collections of major institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Muddy Waters and his wife, Geneva, 1950
Art Shay

Shay’s portfolio has, in fact, shaped the public experience of modern history. Viewers can see a representative sampling at an upcoming exhibit of his photography opening Friday at Monroe Gallery of Photography. “As you really study his work, it’s almost like the work of multiple different photographers,” says Sid Monroe, who co-owns and curates the gallery with Michelle Monroe. “There is an element of street photography, there is photojournalism and documentary photography, there are some elements that are autobiographical. He photographed his wife over the entire course of his marriage and made really beautiful photographs—if the viewer didn’t know it was his wife, it wouldn’t matter.”

Shay’s photographs may feature many different subjects, but each portrays a mood and a story. “I think there are a couple of components to that,” Monroe continues. “The first criteria for a photographer is that a single image conveys a story, captures the time and the emotion; the second part is less under the control of the photographer, and that is the window of history, being present in a moment. And I think what Art did was recognize that he was in the presence of history.”
The exhibit features about 50 of Shay’s photographs, representing multiple periods throughout his career. “What we found so astounding was the enormous range of his work. We tried to present and illustrate that and, at the same time, show off what we feel is a really unique approach to how he made photographs,” Monroe tells SFR.

Shay’s approach, eye and technique produced everyday images just as striking as his portraits of American elites. “There is something so uniquely American about his experience and his perspective and it translates into his images,” says Monroe. “You have these wonderful pictures of children playing in essentially the ghetto of Chicago, and they are just as iconic as pictures of President Kennedy.”

Shay is a bit of a comedian, too. “There’s a place for humor and most photographers don’t handle it too well, [but] I’d like to think that a lot of my pictures are funny,” he says, referring to a particularly humorous photo he snapped as he witnessed three delivery trucks marooned in snow drifts on an empty street in the Bronx, each emblazoned with the words “co-op.” As the drivers assisted each other in escaping their snowy tombs, Shay’s shutter opened and closed. “So I have one picture in which I show the street trucks cooperating and getting each other out of the snow. I thought that was pretty funny,” he says. “I was only 17. I still think it’s funny.”
Many of the events Shay photographed—especially on magazine assignments—were captured in the presence of a slew of other photographers, yet it is his work that stands out among the crowd and that we still see today. These assignments didn’t always include glamorous celebrities. “What makes one photographer’s image stand that test of time?” Monroe posits. “Again, it’s that ability to really capture it,” he says.

And yet, Shay isn’t quite the famed artist he probably should be. Considering he has photographed everyone from Liz Taylor to Mohammad Ali and many of our nation’s most important protest movements, he’s supremely humble. “Art has been a very gentle soul,” Monroe says of the photographer. “He has worked hard and had great success—he hasn’t promoted himself, he hasn’t really reached for recognition. We feel so fortunate because we feel like we’re almost bringing an undiscovered genius to light. We want to be on the rooftops and say, ‘Hey, everybody look at this guy!”

Art Shay: Storyteller Opening reception
5-7 pm Friday Nov. 25. Free.
Monroe Gallery of Photography,
112 Don Gaspar Ave.,

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tuesday To-Do in NYC: Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro Discussion at ICP


World War II, Tony Vaccaro played two risky roles, serving as a combat infantryman on the front lines, as well as a photographer who shot nearly 8,000 photographs. Though he began as a young GI eager to record the war, he vowed never to take another war photo on the day the conflict ended, horrified by what he had seen.

Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro chronicles the life and vision of this remarkable man, exploring how photography defines the way the public perceives armed conflict, and revealing the sheer difficulty of survival while taking photos in a war zone.

Clips from the film will be shown, followed by a panel discussion. (The entire film will not be shown.)


  • Tony Vaccaro
  • Max Lewkowicz
  • James Estrin


With a $47 camera and developing the negatives in his helmet at night, World War II infantryman Tony Vaccaro took nearly 8,000 photographs on the frontline, creating one of the most comprehensive, haunting, and intimate photographic records of combat of all time. In the decades that followed the war, Tony would go on to become a renowned commercial photographer for magazines such as Look, Life, and Flair, capturing everyone from Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren to Pablo Picasso and John F. Kennedy. Tony's work is currently on display at a retrospective in Caen, France and housed in a permanent museum in his honor in Bonefro, Italy. His work is represented by Tony Vaccaro Studio in New York and he is the subject of HBO Documentary Underfire: The Untold story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, premiering November 14, 2016.

Max Lewkowicz, founder and owner of Dog Green Productions and director of Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, has written, directed, and produced feature films and hundreds of productions for network and public television, museums, and multinational organizations. He is the recipient of a New York Emmy for his feature film Morganthau, as well as the Silver Screen Award at the U.S. International Film and Video Festival, the grand prize of The Chicago International Film Festival, and the 2003 Award of Excellence from the National Association of Museum Exhibitions.

James Estrin is a Senior Staff Photographer for the New York Times. He is also a founder of Lens, the Times's photography blog, and co-edits it with David Gonzalez. Mr. Estrin has worked for the Times since 1987 and was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team in 2001. He is a co-executive producer of the movie Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, which will appear on HBO in November 2016. He teaches at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and the School of Visual Arts Digital Photography Program as well as at Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado. Mr. Estrin attended the Advanced Studies Program at the International Center of Photography from 1979 to 1980.

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Full details here.

View Tony Vaccaro's photographs at Monroe Gallery of Photography

Friday, November 18, 2016

Join Us Friday, November 25 to Welcome Art Shay

Art Shay: Chili Con Carne, Chicago, 1949

A major exhibition of photographs from one of America’s most accomplished photographers, Art Shay, November 25 through January 22, 2017. Opening reception with Art Shay Friday, November 25, 5-7 PM.

For over 70 years, Art Shay has documented life, combining his gifts of storytelling, humor and empathy. 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 and a series of pictures he took of a collision between two B-24s above his air base in East Anglia was published in Look magazine. 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 has photographed nine 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, many photo essay books and authored several pays. Shay's photography is in the permanent collections of major museums including the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Although his last formal assignment was in 1988, when he shot the night the lights went on at Wrigley Field for Time Magazine, Shay has continued actively photographing in his later years.

View the exhibition on-line here.

Also on exhibit: Tony Vaccaro: War, Peace, Beauty

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tony Vaccaro: War, Peace, Beauty - A Pop Up Retrospective

© Tony Vaccaro: The Violinist, Venice, Italy, 1947

A pop-up photographic exhibit, in association with the Monroe Gallery of Photography
November 11 – 21, 2016

10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Mondays through Saturdays; 12 - 6 on Sundays
508 W 26th Street, Loft 5G, New York, NY 10001

Also on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM

Essay by Peter Frank from the Catalog TONY VACCARO: WAR, PEACE, BEAUTY

When our lives and our communications were based on a simpler equation than they are now – when there were no social media posts suspended in a zone of truthiness and selfies took a week to come back from the camera store – our relation to the big news and big names of the day was a distant one. Pictures from wars were ominous and dramatic; pictures of celebrities were glamorous and iconic; fashion shots were staged in places we never knew could exist. These people and places and events impacted our lives indirectly – closely enough to get us to vote and go to the movies, but at enough of a remove as to float somewhere between the real and the imagined, the now, the soon, and the later. Time elapsed between the taking and the delivering of the photograph, which gave the photographer just enough room to make a good picture out of a good image – and a good story out of that. This is an entirely different approach to reportorial photography than we’re used to these days; it allowed photographs of urgency and beauty to be artful as well as truthful. Major periodicals were built on this approach, and for decades brought both the world and the brilliance of the people who photographed it to a huge and hungry audience.

Tony Vaccaro is one of these brilliant photographers, one of the last. He may have lived long enough to see his values all but swallowed up by the vacuity of today’s globalized and instantaneous sociobabble; but Vaccaro has also lived long enough to see his own work, along with his peers’ from the golden age of photojournalism, enshrined as examples of the-news-as-art. Vaccaro was adept at conveying what a portrait subject meant to her or his civilization with the same immediacy invested in what a tank rolling through a town meant. Both images had a monumental right-thereness, the moment at once fleeting and eternal. And such images retain that vitality and profundity to this day.
Vaccaro’s early life was spent between the United States, where he was born in Pennsylvania in 1922, and Italy, where his parents’ families resided. In 1939, with the formation of the Axis, Tony and his sisters reclaimed their American passports and returned Stateside. Encouraged by a high school art teacher in suburban New York, Vaccaro discovered himself as a photographer at age 20 – just in time to enter the army and be sent over to England with the 83rd Infantry Division. The “Thunderbolt Division” landed on Omaha Beach two weeks after D-Day and fought its way into Germany, participating in the Battle of the Bulge. As a frontline scout, Vaccaro had both time and inclination to compile photographic documentation of combat, army life, and the newly liberated Europeans he encountered. Discharged from the army in September 1945, Vaccaro stayed in Germany until 1949, working as a photographer for (among other news services) Weekend, the Sunday supplement of Army newspaper Stars and Stripes. His documentation of postwar life throughout Europe was as reverberant as his combat-zone work had been, and – recording as it does both momentous political occasions and everyday life in a continent reduced to rubble – as much of a contribution to history.

Returning to the United States, Vaccaro embarked upon a career as a feature and fashion photographer. This was at a time when glossy weekly publications, with their emphasis on the visual, comprised a form of communication distinct from, complementary to, and every bit as  successful as daily newspapers. Vaccaro spent more than two decades contributing to such magazines as Life, Look, Town and Country, Harper’s Bazaar, Newsweek, Venture, Quick, and Flair, working out of Rome as well as New York and proving equally adept at portraiture, fashion, and action photography. Indeed, many of his published photographs in various genres have proven signal images of the postwar era, etched into the public’s memory as deeply as those of Arnold Newman, Margaret Bourke-White, or Vaccaro’s friend W. Eugene Smith. People know Gwen Verdon, Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani, and Ali MacGraw through his lens as much as they do through the lens of filmmakers; his photo series on Georgia O’Keeffe culminated in an unforgettable picture of the painter holding an abstract painting before the landscape that inspired it. Vaccaro’s vast inventory includes many more such photographs, published and unpublished. In his day he was one of the more sensitive photographers of artists, whether capturing a pensive Jackson Pollock in his studio, a stolid Giorgio de Chirico in raking light, or Frank Lloyd Wright gesturing like a conductor while lecturing at Taliesin. Vaccaro’s postwar portrayals of Europeans, especially Italians, capture in still photography the gritty but poignant neo-realist spirit of filmmakers like Vittorio de Sica and Luchino Visconti. His often experimental fashion shoots play on the animated patterns and extravagant contours coming out of European fashion houses in the 1950s and ‘60s. No matter who they are, Vaccaro seems to empathize with the thoughts and spirits of his subjects, endowing his pictures with a doubled allure for the viewer: you wish you’d been there even as you feel you somehow had been. This allure is only heightened by Vaccaro’s exquisite compositional sense, a formal elegance that calls attention to the subject rather than to itself even as it pervades everything. As Vaccaro has said, “I was born with this idea in my head that every photograph has an order. I have always believed in this. Without geometry, I don’t do photography. Each photograph must be in the geometry.”

As the glossy weeklies (the fashion magazines excepted) waned in prominence in the 1970s, Vaccaro worked less and less with them until officially retiring in 1982. Of course, he has not put his camera down for an instant since, adding steadily to an oeuvre that now numbers some half-a-million pictures. About to celebrate his 94th birthday, Vaccaro is still very much among us. Despite many honors in Europe and America, however, despite numerous exhibitions and upwards of a dozen publications, Vaccaro’s remains a name just beyond the public tongue. We know so many of his images, we respond so readily to his intimate connection with his subjects and his innate ability to compose a picture, but we can’t quite place the signature. The experts know him, historians cite him, his peers laud him as their equal, and those who would keep such inventive photojournalism alive in our Instagram culture turn to him for inspiration. But only now, with a new television documentary and new exhibitions and publications, are the rest of us coming to recognize Tony Vaccaro, not just as one of many cameras in the crowd but as an artist, artisan, reporter and story-teller with his own style and spirit – and, again, author of some of the quintessential images of the postwar era.
— Peter Frank

For further information please contact Monroe Gallery of Photography.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Review Santa Fe Photo Festival November 2 - 6

Via Center

Review Santa Fe Photo Festival, NOVEMBER 2-6, 2016, is the premier juried portfolio review event in the world. The Festival offers photographers, reviewers and photo enthusiasts a week of photographic programming and events. Review Santa Fe Photo Festival 2016 features a number of ways to connect including: two professional development workshops (career reviews & preparing for reviews), exhibitions, artist talks, portfolio viewing, two receptions, a dinner honoring Susan Meiselas and more. You can view the full event schedule here.

There are lots of ways to get involved in Review Santa Fe Photo Festival. CENTER Award & Grant winners will be offering a number of free and open to the public artist talks Friday, November 4 & Saturday, November 5. The Review Santa Fe 100 photographers will be showcasing their work at Portfolio Viewing the evening of Friday, November 4. In addition to free public programming, Review Santa Fe Photo Festival is offering a festival pass which offers entry into two private receptions with artists and reviewers and VIP hour at Portfolio Viewing. The pass offers a great way to stay plugged in to the CENTER network, and connect with artists and reviewers.