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Above the Fold: 10 Decades of Chicago Photojournalism
Crime Then and Now: Through the Lends of the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune historical photo
Chicago Tribune historical photo 
Chicago Herald and Examiner historical photo
Chicago Herald and Examiner historical photo
Chicago Tribune historical photo
Chicago Tribune historical photo
Chicago Herald and Examiner historical photo
Chicago Herald and Examiner historical photo
Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune
Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune
Photo by Anthiny Souffle/Chicago Tribune
Photo by Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune
Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune
Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune
Photo by Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune
Photo by Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune

About the Exhibit
Arthur Fellig published Naked City, a collection of his New York crime photographs in 1945. Fellig, aka Weegee, was catapulted to fame by the lurid and sensational high-contrast depictions of urban misfortune. Photojournalism as art entered a new, seemly phase.

Since then, Americans have been simultaneously attracted to and repelled by graphic images of crime victims, crime scenes, perpetrators and police. In Weegee¹s day, crime photography was defined by the intimate access granted by law enforcement. Authorities allowed, even encouraged, photographers to make pictures of the grisly aftermath of murders and other crimes, as well as suspects (often innocent), victims and court proceedings.

Today, professional media ethics and a less cozy relationship between journalists and law enforcement have changed the way we see crime. Access to crime scenes can be more difficult as police cordon off large areas to process forensics and keep press photographers and the public at bay. The mainstream media, stung by accusations of sensationalism, strive to render tragic situations in humane and respectful ways. This is the lot of the modern photojournalist covering crime today.

For the last two years, the Chicago Tribune has devoted new resources and energy both to its collection of vintage crime photography and to its crime reporting today.

Tribune photo editors and researchers have recovered, scanned and published online and in books hundreds of vintage photographs relating to crime. The archive includes famous criminals, such as Al Capone and John Dillinger, sensational trials, unsolved mysteries and myriad crooks, murderers and others justly and unjustly accused.

Beginning in early 2013, the Tribune created an overnight crime beat, assigning reporters and photographers to follow serious crime whenever and wherever it happens. The result has been an eye-opening look at the tragedy that has befallen this city as hundreds die violently each year.

In stark contrast to one another, these two groups of photographs show how crime photography has evolved over the decades. They also show how our notions about crime can be affected by the way we perceive these photographs.

Curated by Michael Zajakowski and Tyra Robertson.