Lee Balterman: Photographs of a Chicago Long-Gone

Lee Balterman: Carl Sandburg

Lee Balterman: Photographs of 1940s/50s/60s in Chicago

It would be hard to find a less theoretical artist than eighty five year-old Lee Balterman.  Balterman made his living as a Chicago-based photographer for Time, Life, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other top magazines, producing memorable, even iconic celebrity portraits (for example, an ebullient President Eisenhower on a campaign swing, a ghostly Carl Sandburg staring into space in a lonely firehouse, a “Shaft”-era Isaac Hayes, conducting business by phone in the plush luxury of a white limousine).  Lee Balterman’s Chicago may be long gone, but it’s still a great place to visit.

I’m crazy about pictures,” he says.  “I went around with a camera, and when I saw something — boom! You know, real fast.”  And unlike some of his peers in the history of local street photography, he always preferred people to buildings.  “Yeah, I like people,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.  “More or less.”

Lee Balterman: Photographs of  Chicago in the 1940s

Slide Show: Lee Balterman’s Photographs of a Chicago Long-Gone

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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9 Responses to “Lee Balterman: Photographs of a Chicago Long-Gone”

  1. mike ferrell Says:

    how do i communicate with lee balterman
    mike ferrell

  2. J. Naughton Says:

    I am creating a book of interviews out of New York which is based mostly on artists I have chosen, If there is any way I can get in contact with Lee Balterman for an interview it would be much appreciated. I grew up on Chicago’s northwest side until I was about twenty one and really admire the photo’s he has taken of Chicago and it’s people. Please contact me at jamescamera80@hotmail.com

  3. William Says:

    What pictures! You can feel the spirit of that time!

  4. Mr. Chicago Real Estate Says:

    Those are amazing pictures of people and of the times. Its incredible how black/white photos look, especially when they’re capturing the moments of yesteryear.

  5. Lime Mousine Says:

    It seems to me that black and white photos capture more emotion than color ones. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Great photos, by the way.

  6. Jennifer O'Sullivan Says:

    My mother Lois Spangenberg, was a good friend of Lee, how can I contact him?

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