Kalinsky, George 1936-

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KALINSKY, George 1936-

PERSONAL: Born April 14, 1936, in Hempstead, NY; son of Samuel (a retailer) and Fay (Rosen) Kalinsky; married Ellen Wexelblatt, January 23, 1960; children: Lee, Rachelle. Education: Pratt Institute, B.A., 1958. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—Richards Rd., Port Washington, NY 11050. Office—Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Worked as an art director specializing in industrial design; owner of furniture store, 1960; photojournalist, 1965—; Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, art director and photographer, 1968—; Major League Graphics (design firm), president. Official photographer for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the U. S. Senior Open Gold Championship, numerous World Series and Super Bowls. Special photographer to the New York Mets and New York Jets.

AWARDS, HONORS: Named Photographer of the Year, Photography Manufacturers and Distributors Association, 2001; named Man of the Year by the Pratt Institute and the National Center for Disabilities, 2001.


Take It All, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1970.

From Behind the Plate, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1972.

A Will to Win, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1973.

The Ball Parks, Hawthorn (New York, NY), 1975.

Echos from the School Yard, Hawthorn (New York, NY), 1978.


Shooting Stars, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.

The New York Mets: A Photographic History, Macmillan USA (New York, NY), 1995.

The New York Knicks: The Official Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration, Macmillan USA (New York, NY), 1996.

Rabbis: The Many Faces of Judaism, Universe (New York, NY), 2002.

Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden 125 Years, Stewart, Tabori & Chang (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: George Kalinsky has distinguished himself with his photography of prestigious sporting events, teams, and internationally known people, ranging from Elvis Presley to Pope John Paul II. As the official photographer of Madison Square Garden, photographing significant moments and famous people has been a part of his everyday routine. "While some photographers spend their whole life chasing down a handful of celebrities and climactic instants, Kalinsky simply waits for them to appear at his doorstep," remarked Anthony Lasala in Photo District News. The photographer got his start in the mid-1960s, after noticing Muhammad Ali entering a gym and impulsively following. Winning permission to shoot some film of the fighter, Kalinsky later sold the prints to the Associated Press. The pictures also led to Kalinsky's job at Madison Square Garden.

Kalinsky was trained in art and design before becoming a photographer, and his pictures have been showcased in several books that have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has been praised for his ability to capture his subjects in natural poses, going through their everyday routines. "The most important thing about photography is your eyes not the camera," Lasala quoted him as saying. "It's very easy to catch an action shot in sports, but it's something for someone to reach deep into the person's feelings and emotions…. I can actually photograph people thinking, experiencing moments of quiet emotion. I like to reach through the eyes of people and into their heads."

In keeping with his many years at Madison Square Garden, Kalinsky provided the recent photos for Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden 125 Years, published in 2004. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book "a bubbly, impressive chronicle of a New York landmark."

In a change from his many high-profile subjects, Kalinsky focused on Jewish rabbis in Rabbis: The Many Faces of Judaism. The pictures show the wide range of Jewish cultures and the juxtaposition of an ancient tradition with modern culture; included are Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, Hasidic and Reconstructionist rabbis, from sophisticated metropolitan areas to rustic small towns across the world. The images are "arresting," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and include pictures of the first Asian-American woman rabbi, a rabbi on a motorbike with a cell phone, and one riding a gondola through Venice. "This was a spiritual mission," Kalinsky told Miki Berman of the New York Daily News. "I wanted to show that Jews and rabbis come in all shapes and sizes."



Jewish Week, October 11, 2002, Eric J. Greenberg, review of Rabbis: The Many Faces of Judaism.

Library Journal, February 1, 1995, review of The New York Mets, p. 78; December, 2002, Marcia Welsh, review of Rabbis, p. 135.

New York Daily News, October 15, 2002, review of Rabbis.

Petersen's Photographic, March, 2001, Lynne Eodice, "Photographer George Kalinsky Captures Great Moments in Time," p. 26.

Photo District News, June, 2001, Anthony Lasala, "The World's Most Famous Photographer," p. 136.

Publishers Weekly, October 28, 2002, review of Rabbis, p. 67; November 29, 2004, review of Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden 125 Years, p. 36.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2005, review of Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden 125 Years, p. 89.*