Capturing Stories: Photographs of Writers by Art Shay at the American Writers Museum showcases Shay’s landmark images of Nelson Algren and other notable writers. Featured in the Meijer Gallery October 27, 2017 - Spring 2018.
Capturing Stories is a collection of American writer portraits by award-winning photojournalist Art Shay, the author of nearly 70 books. For more than 50 years, Shay’s photographs recorded the bombast and energy of postwar America, finding unique angles on the moments and personalities for magazines such as Life, Time, Ebony and Sports Illustrated. But Shay started out as a reporter and he shot with a writer’s eye; his images are stories just waiting to be told. It’s not surprising that he captured the literary world with such unusual sensitivity and insight, from the clarity in the eyes of Gwendolyn Brooks and the weary look of an aging Ernest Hemingway, to Allen Ginsberg teaching a rapt crowd in Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic Convention. A world-class street photographer, Shay wandered countless miles throughout the 1950s exploring Chicago with author and close friend Nelson Algren. On October 29, 2017, Shay will join Gordon Parks, Henri Cartier-Bresson and William Klein as winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lucie Foundation.
Special programs offered in conjunction with Capturing Stories are gallery talks about the writers featured in the exhibit; Gwendolyn Brooks by Quraysh Ali Lansana of Our Miss Brooks 100 & Revise the Psalm on Saturday, November 18, Ernest Hemingway by Nancy Sindelar of The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park on Saturday, December 9, and Nelson Algren by Sue Rutsen of the Nelson Algren Museum of Miller Beach on Saturday, January 13. Gallery talks are from noon to 12:30 p.m. and are free with museum admission.