I went to Chicago this summer to a feminist blogging convention— but the most aesthetically memorable part of my trip was when Marie Kuda took me for a visit to the Art Shay photo exhibit at the Chicago Historical Museum.
The exhibition, which I wish I could show you in every detail, features this candid photo of Simone de Beauvoir getting dressed in the bathroom for a day's outing. I swooned.
The philosopher, at the time, was lovers with Shay's best friend, Nelson Algren— the author who wrote The Man with the Golden Arm.
Most of Shay's prints in the show are not published in a book or catalog, which I tearfully found out when I pounced on the museum bookstore.
The originals are so beautiful— such an incredible look at working class Chicago, the adult side of LIFE magazine Americana, and bohemian culture before the word "beatnik" was even popularized.
Shay (who's very much alive!) is an adventurer, someone whose heart is always on his lens' sleeve.
If anyone wants to know what I want for Labor Day, it's one of Shay's prints! You can see a lot more at the gallery site which represents him...
Art Shay, Simone de Beauvoir in Chicago, 1952 | Gelatin silver print | 8.5 x 5.75 in.