Classic images of Muhammad Ali, including shots of the young boxer then known as Cassius Clay, are on display outside Philadelphia at the Michner Art Museum in Doylestown, through May 15.
Based on an exhibit that was first displayed at Hofstra, the photos of Muhammad Ali include work by the best photographers of the era. From the Bucks Local News report on exhibts of Elvis and Ali:
Ali’s story is one of an American hero who has come full circle in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world, and features more than 50 photographs by such distinguished photographers as Annie Leibovitz, Gordon Parks and Art Shay that capture Ali’s positive public image. Although his braggadocio and vanity flouted conventional ideas about sportsmanship, the overall sense was that Ali was a “good kid” who valued family and community and was using boxing to earn a share of the American dream.
One was called "The King," the other "The Greatest." Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali are the very essence of 20th century American icons — revered, worshiped, beloved, and sometimes, in the case of Ali, even hated. They shared fame, notoriety, and headlines as their lives unfolded in separate ways, each triumphant and each ultimately tragic.
The Philadelphia Inquirer published an essay on both exhibits by the music critic Dan DeLuca, who singled out one Shay image: "Art Shay's picture of a brash, on-the-rise Cassius Clay in a locker room in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., in 1964 (with his mother, Odessa, close by)."
Art Shay's photo talent has inspired generations of photographers now shooting all over the world. Three Shay children who made photography their profession are among the top of this group. Steve Shay, now working in Seattle, has a gallery opening tonight.
Steve Shay has been invited to show his photographs by Alki Arts Gallery owners Diane Venti and husband Tom Wyrick. The event is this Friday night, March 25, 7pm-10pm. Alki Arts Gallery is at next to Cactus Restaurant, at 2820 Alki Ave SW. (206) 432-9936 *Wine and cheese and dessert reception. *Music by Brooke Trisler. He's awesome!
Steve paid tribute to Art Shay in an essay about Elizabeth Taylor that ran in the West Seattle Herald with this Art Shay photo:
Taylor, who died on Wednesday at age 79, was at the Ambassador East hotel in Chicago in the 1960 when Art Shay captured her beauty and glamour. A few weeks later, Art Shay was on a flight about to leave Los Angeles for Chicago. Steve picks up the story of the actress and the photographer:
... they open a door and Elizabeth Taylor in a fur coat comes on and the only seat left in the plane was next to me. I had my camera case with me, the one she had signed a few weeks earlier at the event in Chicago. She sat next to me, and recognizing me said, "Art, let's not talk. Let's sleep all the way to Chicago." My father claims he honored her request. That to me is the amazing part of this story, my dad not saying a word for over three hours.