Art Shay

Photographer, Visual Artist

1922 –


Who is Art Shay?

Art Shay is an American photographer and writer. 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 sold at galleries and is in permanent collections of major museums including the National Portrait Gallery and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Shay's long friendship with the writer Nelson Algren led to the publication of Shay's Nelson Algren's Chicago. Shay and Algren met in 1949 and collaborated on many projects, including photos and an essay for Holiday Magazine that Algren later turned into his book Chicago, City on the Make. Shay took well-known pictures of Simone de Beauvoir when she visited Chicago to be with Algren,.

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The Bronx
Also known as
  • Arthur Shay
  • Judaism
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • The Bronx

on July 23, 2013


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