Exhibitions

“I Am King of the World”: Photographs of Muhammad Ali by George Kalinsky

December 11, 2016
-
March 26, 2017
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For more than 50 years, George Kalinsky has captured iconic moments in sports as Madison Square Garden’s house photographer—a job he landed, in part, after bluffing his way into Muhammad Ali’s workout session in December 1965. Their encounter launched a decades-long friendship that lasted until Ali’s death in 2016. Through 45 intimate works, this inspiring photo exhibition reveals flashes of the Champ’s life out of the ring, sharing moments with fans and the press, as well as in his element, boxing in the explosive matches that helped make him “The Greatest.”

Two sides of Ali
George Kalinsky saw Ali through the lens of his camera, capturing the Champ in crisp reality, while another 20th-century artist and friend of Ali’s, LeRoy Neiman, saw him through a different medium, portraying many of the same moments Kalinsky captured through the stroke of his pencil and paint brush. See Ali through the eyes of two artistic greats. Visit Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing.

Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

 

Media sponsor:
WNET

 

With remarkable similarity, George Kalinksy and LeRoy Neiman expressed moments of Ali's life in parallel fashion. Below, check out a few kindred pieces they created in their respective mediums.

 

The winning pose

George Kalinsky
Muhammad Ali vs Zora Folley fight, 1967
Chromogenic print from original scanned film
Courtesy George Kalinsky

LeRoy Neiman
Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, 1965
Mixed media on paper
Courtesy LeRoy Neiman Foundation

 

Ali vs Frazier at Madison Square Garden, 1971

George Kalinsky
Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, 1971
Chromogenic print from original scanned film
Courtesy George Kalinsky

LeRoy Neiman
Round 11, Ali-Frazier at Madison Square Garden,
March 8, 1971
Mixed media on paper
Courtesy LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Training before the press

George Kalinsky
Muhammad Ali working out at his training facility
in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania
, 1972
Chromogenic print from original scanned film
Courtesy George Kalinsky

LeRoy Neiman
LeRoy Neiman Ali and the California Gang at the
5th Street Gym, Miami
,
February 27, 1971
Mixed media on paper
Courtesy LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Interviews and media attention

George Kalinsky
Sportscaster Howard Cosell interviewing
Ali in Miami,
1965
Chromogenic print from original scanned film
Courtesy George Kalinsky

LeRoy Neiman
Liston and Clay Weigh-In,
February 24, 1964
Mixed media and collage on paper
Courtesy LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Creative: Tronvig Group