“I Am King of the World”


For more than 50 years, George Kalinsky has captured iconic moments in sports as Madison Square Garden’s house photographer—a job he landed, in part, after bluffing his way into Muhammad Ali’s workout session in December 1965. Their encounter launched a decades-long friendship that lasted until Ali’s death in 2016. Through 45 intimate works, this inspiring photo exhibition reveals flashes of the Champ’s life out of the ring, sharing moments with fans and the press, as well as in his element, boxing in the explosive matches that helped make him “The Greatest.”

Two sides of Ali
George Kalinsky saw Ali through the lens of his camera, capturing the Champ in crisp reality, while another 20th-century artist and friend of Ali’s, LeRoy Neiman, saw him through a different medium, portraying many of the same moments Kalinsky captured through the stroke of his pencil and paint brush. See Ali through the eyes of two artistic greats.

Visit Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing.

Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.