Above Image: First Snow, Elizabeth Street, NYC, New York, 1984 © Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel studied Graphic Design with Leon Friend at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY. He then studied painting with Joseph Hirsch, and Fine Arts at Cooper Union. He received his BFA at Yale where he studied Color with Josef Albers.
Jay began his career in photography in 1954. While his portfolio includes the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Miles Davis, he is perhaps best known for capturing the light, gesture, and color found in everyday life. Some of his commercial accomplishments include five Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers, the first two covers of New York Magazine, the cover of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (the best-selling jazz album of all time), twelve years of advertising campaign assignments with United Technologies, and awards from such organizations as ICP, ASMP, ADC, PPA, and Cooper Union.
Since he stopped taking on commercial work in 1995, Jay has continued to focus on his personal work. He has developed a reputation as a giving and inspiring teacher as a result of extensive lecturing and photography workshops throughout the country. He also hosted his own workshops at his residence at 190 Bowery in New York City, from 2008-2015, instructing more than 640 students over the eight-year period.
In 2015, Jay sold his famous six-story building where he lived and worked for 50 years. Stephen Wilkes documented Jay’s epic move out of “the Bank” that was released as a feature-length film, Jay Myself, in the summer of 2019.
Since 2015, Jay has committed himself to reviewing his last sixty years of shooting. The results can be seen on his website, jaymaisel.com. Jay continues to sell prints of his photographs, many of which can be found in private, corporate, and museum collections.
Image Right: Two Men, Ghana, 1966 © Jay Maisel