Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781935195399 Published April 2013

Portraits from the Park

Comiskey Park Photographs, 1973-1990

Thomas W. Harney

Thomas W. Harney

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

93 pages | 67 halftones | 9 x 8 | © 2012
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781935195399 Published April 2013

Chicago’s old Comiskey Park, home to the White Sox until 1990, is as essential to the city’s cultural history as it is to baseball’s. From the first day that Thomas W. Harney set out to photograph fans in the ballpark, he felt at home there, owing to memories of games with his father and grandfather. It became his ongoing subject, as well as a setting that would inspire his growing reputation as a street photographer.

The sequence of portraits Harney took of White Sox fans between 1973 and the last game played at the park—September 30, 1990—captures the essence of baseball fandom: pregame excitement, exploration of the ballpark, the quiet moments in between plays, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. Most importantly, these portraits capture the aura of “Old Comiskey,” a ballpark that looms large in the memories of Chicagoans and baseball fans alike.

Ed Maldonado, former curator and director of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
“With the passage of almost twenty years since the series was begun, the pictures present us with a closed world where the anthropology of the crowd and the individual can be studied. . . . [Harney’s] people have an internal life that comes through, sometimes as spectators fully engaged in the drama of the game, but often when they appear with a self-aware gaze, both looking in and looking out at the viewer.”
Chicago Book Review
"Harney has captured, in rich black and white, moments, many of them quiet moments, some of them private moments, all of them compelling moments. Each moment tells a story, and in doing so, Portraits from the Park captures a slice of history from the former (some might say 'true') home of the White Sox." 
Portraits form the Park
      Tom Nawrocki

The Plates

A Note from the Park
Thomas Harney’s “Slow Approach”
      Ed Maldonado
About the Photographer and Essayists
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