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Art Shay has been authoritatively called "the best photo-journalist Chicago ever produced."Art Shay
618 Indian Hill Rd
Deerfield, IL 60015
(847) 945-4636 Fax (847) 945-4644 Email: ArtShay2@aol.com
His pictures fetch big prices at galleries and his work hang in numerous museums and at the National Portrait Gallery. Starting out as a staff reporter and bureau chief for Life Magazine in its heyday, he switched to photography in 1949 and within three years became the photographer of first or second choice in the midwest for: Time, Life, Fortune, SI (when it arrived in 1954), The Saturday Evening Post, Forbes, Business Week, Parade and This Week. He became novelist Nelson Algren's friend in 1949, and began a 15 year project of documenting Algren's life and world. Since then, under Time Inc. contract for ten years, and on his own, more than 25,000 pictures and a thousand covers to Shay's have appeared on national publications and on books and annual reports for such companies as Ford 3M, Baxter Labs, Motorola, Zenith, National Can and The New York Stock Exchange. He is the author-photographer of 78 children's and sports books. His 79th, "Nelson Algren's Chicago" was hailed by Chicago's newspapers as "a masterpiece" and "a Chicago treasure, like its author." His play, "Nelson, Simone and Sartre" - based on the famous love affair between French philosopher and Sartre intimate, Simone de Beauvoir - and Chicago novelist Nelson Algren - had its first stage reading in Chicago by a professional company recently, and will be staged last this year. The director is famed actor-director Mike Nussbaum who is part of the David Mamet troupe. (In "Men in Black" he was the little old Martian; in "House of Games" he was a Mafioso).
Shay is married to the famed rare book dealer, Florence Shay, who founded "Titles" of Highland Park, IL.
Both his sons, and his daughter - Richard and Steve in the Chicago area and Lauren - In Washington D.C. are photographers. Lauren is married to Carl Lavin, the New York Times' News Bureau Chief in DC.
Shay's other daughter, Jane, an L.A. lawyer married to movie writer Eliot Wald, was the first law student in US history to have a case in the US Supreme Court, winning it.
Shay's first play, "A Clock for Nikita", a comedy about the Soviet Union, ran for a month in 1964.