Harry Callahan

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Harry Callahan

Harry Callahan (born October 22, 1912 in Detroit , † March 15, 1999 in Atlanta ) was an American photographer who is regarded as one of the most innovative and influential people in modern American photography.


Harry Callahan was born in Detroit , Michigan in 1912 and studied engineering at Michigan State College from 1931 to 1933 . In 1933 he met Elenor Knapp on a blind date. They married three years later and in 1950 his daughter Barbara was born.

In 1938 he began to photograph as an autodidact , where he was particularly impressed and inspired by the works of Alfred Stieglitz and Minor White . In 1941 he became a member of the Detroit Photo Guild, and from 1944 to 1945 he worked in General Motors' photo lab .

From 1946 to 1961, on the recommendation of Arthur Siegel, he became a lecturer in photography under László Moholy-Nagy at the Institute of Design in Chicago, and during this time began to deal with photography of the Bauhaus and the New Objectivity . In 1954 he participated in the exhibition subjective picture 2 of Otto Steinert in part, in 1968 he had a major solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City . From 1961 to 1973 he was director and later teacher of the photography department at the Rhode Island School of Design , and in 1977 he retired from there. Harry Callahan died in 1999.


Henry Callahan is widely recognized as one of the most innovative and influential photographers in modern American photography. His oeuvre encompasses a wide range of subjects from nude photography to landscape shots to cityscapes and other scenes that he has left behind in a number of different ways.


  • 2013: Harry Callahan - retrospective . House of Photography, Deichtorhallen , Hamburg

Awards (selection)


  • Sarah Greenough: Harry Callahan. Retrospective, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Bulfinch Press / Little, Brown and Company, Boston et al. a. 1996, ISBN 978-0821223130 . (In English)
  • Jonathan Williams: Aperture Masters - Harry Callahan. Könemann, Cologne 1999, ISBN 3-8290-2890-3 .
  • Dirk Luckow, Sabine Schnakenberg (ed.): Harry Callahan. Retrospective, House of Photography Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Kehrer, Heidelberg 2013, ISBN 978-3868283587 . (In English)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Suzanne Muchnic: Eleanor Callahan at this 95; subject of photos by husband, Harry . In: Los-Angeles Times . Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  2. Honorary Members: Harry Callahan. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 2, 2019 .