Andrew Kilgore: Portraits in Black and White

This is part of Arkansas Business' 30th anniversary issue. You can access the digital edition for free here.

Beginning with the last issue of 1984 and continuing into 1988, Andrew Kilgore photographed business legends and up-and-comers for the cover of Arkansas Business.

The tabloid was biweekly then, with a more magazine-like approach to business news than it would assume after converting to a weekly publication cycle in 1990. It was also printed in black ink only on newsprint, but with a heavier paper stock cover on which Kilgore’s unmistakable style made a striking statement.

Arkansas Business was published for nine months before the first Kilgore portrait — of Newport lawyer and former U.S. Sen. Kaneaster Hodges Jr. — appeared on the cover. But it was those works of photographic art that set the fledging business journal apart and helped it find a voice and an audience even as Little Rock’s two daily newspapers barreled headlong into a protracted and expensive circulation and advertising war.

In celebration of this 30th anniversary issue, Arkansas Business teamed up again with Andrew Kilgore, who relocated to Fayetteville years ago and who is the subject of a documentary film being produced by the Fayetteville Public Library. We had only one afternoon with him, but we managed to work in three sessions with four of the same kind of business leaders that Kilgore would have photographed for Arkansas Business in the early days.

In fact, he did photograph one of them back then: George Gleason II, the chairman and CEO of Bank of the Ozarks Inc. is featured above with one of Kilgore's 1987 Kilgore photos. (The other one can be seen here:  George Gleason II: The Wizard of Ozark Bankshares.)

The others Kilgore photographed on Valentine’s Day 2014 are Little Rock real estate developers Jimmy Moses and Rett Tucker and the godmother of South Main redevelopment Anita Davis.

For good measure, the rest of the slideshow above is filled with some of the original Kilgore photos of folks who are still kicking around. Some of the poses were never previously published.