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MICKEY PALLAS

In the mid-1940s Mickey Pallas began to photograph weddings and labor union activities. By the 1950s, Pallas’s clientele expanded to include Standard Oil of Indiana, ABC-TV, Ebony magazine, the Harlem Globetrotters, and several black churches on the South Side of Chicago. He recorded subjects as diverse as a sugar workers’ strike in Louisiana, the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, an annual Halloween transvestites ball in Chicago, and burlesque performers across the country. Pallas applied his up front style to making portraits of common people–fathers and brides, children and dogs, meatpackers and refinery workers, welders–and less common ones–beauty pageant contestants, circus performers, and celebrities. His work is perhaps most memorable for the usual comfort with which he crossed social, racial, and class boundaries.