Robert Natkin (American, 1919-1996)
Chicagoan Robert Natkin started taking pictures in high school, developing and printing in a friend’s basement. At age 21, he was drafted and abruptly went from being a student in pre-med to being an Air Force gunner photographer during World War II. Afterward, Natkin became a professional photographer, specializing in capturing people in their environments all over his beloved hometown. He also made remarkable images on a trip to Mexico in 1948, photographing the Mexican people in ways quite unanticipated by those who had commissioned the work. During the 1970s, Natkin was an official photographer for the Chicago Bulls. These disparate scenarios have in common Natkin’s skillful technique and compassionate rendering.