Michael Abramson's photographs are included in the collections of the Chicago History Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Smithsonian, the California Museum of Photography, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where one of its three owned Abramson photographs rotates with the work of other top photographers in a permanent exhibit.
Abramson was born in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in South Orange, N.J. In 1970 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He began working in the financial industry in Boston but after taking a photography class, his career took a sharp new direction. He moved to Chicago in 1974 and studied under Arthur Siegel at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned a master's in 1977. For his thesis, Abramson took photos of patrons at nightclubs on the south side of Chicago during the mid-seventies, and the images were published in 2009, along with two LPs, in a package entitled Light on the South Side (2009), released by Chicago music recording company Numero Group.
The collection of music featured on the LPs are blues songs by mostly Chicago recording artists, and reflect what was actually playing on the jukeboxes in these clubs at the time. Light on the South Side was nominated for a 2010 Grammy in the category of Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. Light on the South Side was also a nominee for the MOJO Awards in England. To view a slideshow of Abramson's photographs with one of the LP's blues songs, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoKdiKz9yWY