Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Reading List… Art Shay Chicago Accent

I found this book in the Rare Books Section on the third floor of The Strand.  Don’t let the title “Rare Book Section” throw you, I got this for $30.


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  1. Natasha Fatah

    April 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Muhammed Ali – no matter what you think of him – must have been one of the most beautiful people that ever lived. I find his image, style, story so romantic, and so heart breaking.

    I’m going to pin his picture.
    Thanks for these!

    ~Natasha Fatah~

  2. White Perla

    April 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Oh very nice this pictures. I love it.. black and white:):)


  3. Laura

    April 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  4. Alison

    April 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Amazing! I love the black and white photos. What a great find :)


  5. Bohemian Style

    April 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I love buying old books because of their amazing photos.


  6. umanbn

    April 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I could spend hours…and hours…and hours….browsing bookshops, especially old second hand ones. There’s just such a thrill in finding treasure their and something you just couldn’t plan for….looks really interesting…

  7. Bríd roant

    April 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    OMG, go muhamad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (i hope i spelled his name right hah)

    P.S. Go on the Irish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.P.S I love your blog, if it still counts as that, its more like an openin’ to a new era hah!!!!!!

    P.P.P.S. go on the younger generation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.P.P.P.S Sozy for all the P.S.’s HAH!!! ;))))))))


  8. Simbarashe

    April 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    This book should be called “The Man’s Guide to Being a Man.”

  9. Lauren@Styleseer

    April 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Wow, great find! That’s good to know about The Strand.


  10. Xeana

    April 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I like going to bookstores. And when it is possible to buy a rare book is a double pleasure!
    This book is very interesting!

    From http://www.xeanafashion.com

  11. Carla

    April 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    What a great STYLE.
    Last two photos show what’s alsways classical to wear.


    Here’s another picture I found by interest!

  12. Monsieur Marcel

    April 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The second photo is like a dramatization of a scene from the Nelson Algren novel THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, which was set in Chicago, and made into a movie starring Frank Sinatra.

  13. Reptilia

    April 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    beautiful old photos!!



  14. mary

    April 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Powerfull Photos!!!

  15. irene

    April 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

  16. sandy Leonard Snaps

    April 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    LOVE the 3rd floor of The Strand. Have found many treasures there. Congratulations on yours.

  17. John Danner

    April 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Definitely a great find.


  18. Nastya Said

    April 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I bet there were plenty of great books in that section – just as this one looks very confident


  19. KETTY

    April 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Great old pics with powerful men:-)


  20. Amanda

    April 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Hey, when were you there? I was there on Friday, April 6th around 3:30pm….SO cool. I ended up buying a set of miniature Sendak story books.

  21. Ben

    April 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Another great set of pictures. Muhammed Ali looks so young! And what has that guy got on his back? I really like the guy slamming down his cards in the backroom with the single bulb…

  22. LCM

    April 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    gritty and old-school Chicago, very cool.


  23. AmirT

    April 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Timeless shots right there..yup, defo feeling it !

  24. Mary Stevermer

    April 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Ali was a neighbor of mine.. of sorts.. He lived a couple blocks from my dorm in Hyde Park, on the southside of Chicago. In 74 or 75 he gave a talk. He was amazingly intelligent and thoughtful. When i saw him on the outside of his house I thanked him for the talk.. talked with him for about 20 minutes.

    Cool dude.

  25. Peter

    April 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Why don’t “everyday” people have style like this anymore? I don’t get it. Is it just that I romanticize the past?

    Loving the chic ladies in the Ali shot!

    Peter @ http://low–couture.blogspot.com

  26. That Haute Dude

    April 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    A great Find! I bet it’s a treat to read.
    That Haute Dude

  27. steffi

    April 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  28. Izael Garrido

    April 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    The images remember some era, a past one, they are epic and beautiful

  29. pete

    April 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    i’ve been waiting years for you to travel to chicago, for any reason… i never expect you to, though… since you grew up in indianapolis you probably know better than to expect to find style in a midwestern city….

    but art students and young people generally are moving into hispanic communities (logan square and pilsen) and each group is influencing the other’s style for the better… not to mention we have some of the most stylish black communities in the country….

    give us a chance sometime…

  30. TFred

    April 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Stephen Daiter Gallery, which published this collection, is an important and highly enjoyable gallery in Chicago. Any of his catalogs are worth seeking out. (Full disclosure: I’ve edited some catalogs for him way back.)

  31. ADJ

    April 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    wow, these images are incredible. ali is an amazing person.


  32. Rhodesian Ridgeback

    April 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Cassius, always beautiful. I have his photo right up there next to Albrecht Durer’s self portrait.

  33. Bea

    April 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I LOVE old books! I will have to visit the Strand ASAP!

    xo Bea


  34. *sP

    April 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    BRILL!!!!!!!!!! men being what we used to call, being manly!

  35. Zoe

    April 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    stunning photos – the black and white is a great contrast!


  36. Coline

    April 11, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Oh i love this!


  37. bonnie, clyde and marni

    April 11, 2012 at 4:11 am

  38. macfer

    April 11, 2012 at 4:23 am

  39. Johnny

    April 11, 2012 at 4:43 am

    What a great bargain you got. Well done!

  40. Alessandra Frega

    April 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Perfect atmosphere … Great black/white combination!!!!

  41. Cristián Pavez Díaz

    April 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

    That’s one great deal. I wish I could find this sort of books down here.
    Greetings from Santiago, Chile.

    @cristianpavezd on Twitter.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/uywe6X

  42. Bambi

    April 11, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Muhammed Ali looks really beautiful in a boxer boy sort of way :’)

  43. CBC

    April 11, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Great find!!….could be stills form a black & white film….

  44. Karen

    April 11, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Wauw, amazing.

  45. u

    April 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    come to Chicago already! really! we’re no money, all swagger, and the boys would break your heart….. i would love to see how you see it. plus theres nothing so untrustworthy as a disavowed midwesterner.

  46. chahrazad

    April 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Muhammed Ali. <3
    What a amazing picture of a amazing fighter/boxer!


  47. Craig

    April 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I’m lucky enough to have a copy of this signed by the creator himself. He’s still a scrapper.

  48. Valentine

    April 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Were you aware that the fellow on the left in the dueling portrait was none other than legendary Chicago author, Nelson Algren? He and Art Shay were great friends. On one memorable evening Art was showing slides at a local gallery. Nelson was there and every time he was in a photo he would jump up and scream “Hey, that’s me!!”

  49. Leonor

    April 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    great post!! very old school!


  50. Brett

    April 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks very much for posting this — I’ve never seen it before. My family and I are long-time Chicagoans, I’m a professional photographer and this is a must-have for us.

  51. Aga's suitcase

    April 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Really expresive pictures!

    Check my new post

  52. April

    April 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Time captured in black and white always evokes the feeling of nostalgia.

  53. ladyofletters

    April 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    wow wow wow wow wow!!!!!!!!

  54. Elena

    April 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing these amazing black and white photos with us!

  55. koolphoto

    April 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Love the photos…

  56. Orlandus Waters

    April 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

    The book is rare with only two copies on Amazon! I find the photo of a Black Man with a “blood stained” shirt compelling moreso than The Great One (reverence) because two White Males are captured by the front of the camera while viewers like me revel from a rear perspective. Intriguing interlude between Black and White captured for the ages!

    I am purchasing the book to see if Ethel Waters is captured during her Chicago Capone night club days!


  57. Mardam

    April 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I like pic of Muhammed Ali .

  58. lily

    April 13, 2012 at 1:23 am

    First pic of Muhammad Ali made me think of this site: http://www.facebook.com/VintageBlackGlamour

  59. Crannie

    April 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Art Shay is a wonderful photographer who still lives in the Chicago north suburbs. He has had many exhibits and books published.

  60. Bron Janulis

    April 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    The cover photo is of Art Shay and the writer Nelson Algren, which is why some of the photos have an “Algrenesque” quality.


  61. Christian Parley

    April 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you Sartorialist!! Great share! Beautiful images.

    Chris @

  62. Mens Dressing Gowns

    April 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Black & white photos add so much more contrast to an image, stunning photos. Thanks for sharing them.

  63. Chuck Sudo

    April 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Art Shay, at age 90, is still going strong. If any of you are interested in seeing more of his photography, he writes a weekly column for the website Chicagoist. I’m glad to have him as a regular contributor.


  64. Art Shay

    August 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Im thrill ed at all your people who enjoy my pictures of Ali and Nelson Algren… You picture fans may like some of the picture and word blogs I do, They’re syndicated in 13 US cities, Shanghai,Toronto and London.The blog comes out Friday afternoons and is findable
    at Chicagoist.com….vault of Art Shay. My biggest “hit” was one called “Sleeping with Elizabeth Taylor.”The ones on Simone de Beauvoir and Nelson Algren are quite popular.
    I was glad to read all the positive response because even though I’m only 91, many Chicagoans think I am dead. Not only have I so far eluded death in aerial combat and ignoring the rigors of Chicago, but I have several books in the works to fatten my score beyond 60 books.One of these is a picture book (now being considered by Thames @Hudson, about my beautiful late wife Florence (who owned and operated Titles,Inc., the rare book store based in Highland Park. She died justra year ago at 90 and her pal Billy Corgan sang at her funeral. The book consists of our marriage of 67 years and includes the first picture I took of her the first day I met her in the summer of 1941. She was a 19 year old doing a dance leap at our summer camp in the Catskills. The last picture is at her funeral.Art Shay

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