Posts Tagged ‘Eleanor

21
Jun
10

Exhibition: ‘Harry Callahan: American Photographer’ at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Exhibition dates: 21st November 2009 – 3rd July 2010

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor, Chicago' 1949

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1949
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

I admire the use of strong horizontals and verticals in the work of Harry Callahan and the exquisite sense of space, stillness and sensuality he creates within the image plane. A true American master. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara' 1953

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara
1953
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara, Lake Michigan' 1953

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara, Lake Michigan
1953
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara' c. 1954

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara
c. 1954
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1953
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan. 'Detroit' 1943

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Detroit
1943
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

The brilliant graphic sensibility of Harry Callahan (1912-1999), a major figure in American photography, is the focus of Harry Callahan: American Photographer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). Debuting November 21, the exhibition features approximately 40 photographs that survey the major visual themes of the artist’s career. It celebrates the Museum’s important recent acquisitions – by both purchase and gift – of Callahan’s photographs and showcases significant examples of his artistry from the collections of friends of the MFA. The many sensitive pictures that Callahan made of his wife Eleanor, his depictions of passers-by on the street, his carefully composed landscapes and close-ups from nature, and experimental darkroom abstractions reveal a wide-ranging talent that was enormously influential.

“Harry Callahan was one of the most innovative photographers working in America in the mid 20th-century,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. “His elegantly spare, introspective photographs demonstrate his lyricism and the originality of his sense of design.”

The Detroit-born photographer, whose career spanned six decades, became interested in the camera in the late 1930s while working as a Chrysler Corporation shipping clerk. He was largely self-taught, and attracted admiration early on for his originality. By 1946, Callahan was hired as a photography instructor by the Hungarian-born artist László Moholy-Nagy for the Institute of Design, a Bauhaus-inspired school of art and design in Chicago. In 1961, Callahan was invited to head the photography program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he was based until retiring to Atlanta two decades later.

Harry Callahan’s approach helped shape American photography in the second half of the 20th-century,” said Anne Havinga, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs, who organised the exhibition. “His way of seeing inspired countless followers and continues to feel fresh today.”

Callahan concentrated on a handful of personal subjects in his work, exploring each theme repeatedly throughout his career. These include portraits of his wife Eleanor, depictions of anonymous pedestrians, expressive details of the urban and natural landscape, and experimental darkroom abstractions. The MFA exhibition is organised into five themes: Eleanor, Pedestrians, Architecture, Landscapes, and Darkroom Abstractions …

Press release from the MFA website [Online] Cited 20/06/2010 no long available online

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor' 1948

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor
1948
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Chicago' 1950

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Chicago
1950
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan. 'Eleanor, Chicago' 1949

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1949
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara (baby carriage)' 1952

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara (baby carriage)
1952
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

In 1936, around the time that Callahan began to explore photography, he married Eleanor Knapp, who served as one of his first and most frequent subjects. Callahan’s portraits of his wife, characterised by their intimate yet detached poetry, have become a landmark in the history of photography. In the photograph Eleanor (about 1948, see second photograph above), Callahan portrays his wife in a private interior setting, facing away from the camera. After the birth of their daughter Barbara in 1950, she too entered these family pictures, which capture the intimate moments of daily life as seen in the photograph, Eleanor and Barbara (1953, see photograph second from top).

Callahan photographed the natural landscape throughout his career, focusing on its evocative forms and textures. In images such as Aix-en-Provence, France (1957), he explored the visual effects that he could create either through high contrast or closely related tonalities. Callahan also utilised a range of different experimental darkroom techniques – from photographing the beam of a flashlight in a darkened room, to developing one print from multiple negatives. Many of his multi-exposure pictures were made by superimposing images from popular culture onto studies of urban life. Callahan’s openness to experimentation was stimulating for the many students who worked with him.

Callahan made many of his best known images during his 15 years in Chicago, where he also began his role as an influential teacher. During the 1950s, the photographer embarked on a series of close-ups of anonymous pedestrians in the streets of Chicago, most of them women. Using a 35mm camera with a pre-focused telephoto lens, he captured passersby unaware of his presence, resulting in snapshot-like images that record unsuspecting subjects absorbed in private thought or action, such as Chicago (1950, see photograph above), a close-up of a preoccupied woman’s face. Callahan returned to this theme frequently, working in both black and white and colour.

Callahan was repeatedly drawn to architectural and urban subjects. Prior to moving to Chicago, he explored the spaces of Detroit, photographing the formal patterns he discovered there. In Detroit (1943 – see photograph above), Callahan depicts a street scene, with the people in transit appearing as a pattern. He experimented with colour in these pictures as early as the 1940s, but he worked more extensively in colour later in his career, from the 1970s onward.

Text from the Art Tatler website [Online] Cited 20/06/2010 no long available online

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Chicago' 1961

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Chicago
1961
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor' about 1947

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor
about 1947
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Cape Cod' 1972

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Cape Cod
1972
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Cape Cod' 1972

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Cape Cod
1972
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Polaroid Foundation Purchase Fund
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Avenue of the Arts
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5523
617-267-9300

Opening hours:
Monday and Tuesday 10 am – 5.00 pm
Wednesday – Friday 10 am – 10.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5.00 pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,689 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

Categories