Harry Callahan  (American, 1912-1999) 

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Harry Callahan (American, October 12, 1912–March 15, 1999) is known for his work in photography. He was born in Detroit, MI. He worked for Chrysler in his youth but left the company to attend Michigan State University to study engineering. Eventually, he dropped out of college and returned to work at Chrysler. Upon his return, he joined the company's camera club, and, by 1938, Callahan had begun teaching himself photography. During this time, he became friends with another future photographer, Todd Webb (American, 1905–2000). Callahan met his wife on a blind date in 1933, when they were both Chrysler employees, and the two married three years later. His method of photography was very technical and precise; every day, he woke up and walked the city where he lived to take photographs. In the afternoons, he would look over his negatives and choose the best ones to make print proofs.

Callahan once estimated that he produced no more than a half dozen finished images each year. He often photographed his wife and daughter, buildings, and streets. His photos showed a strong sense of darkness and light, along with lines and forms. Callahan often experimented with multiple exposures and saw photography as deeply personal. His wife, in particular, held great significance in his work. She was his major subject for a period of 15 years. Callahan gave his photographs simple titles, such as Eleanor, New York, and Chicago. These works are currently in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

Callahan was a unique innovator in American photography. His work is noted as much for his use of color as for black-and-white. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1996 and died in Atlanta in 1999. Callahan left behind some 100,000 negatives and 10,000 proof prints. The University of Arizona maintains his archives, and the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York represents his estate.

Find Harry Callahan artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Artworks for sale (54)

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Harry Callahan, Providence, Rhode Island

 

Harry Callahan
Providence, Rhode Island
1969

Michael Shapiro Photographs
Harry Callahan, Eleanor in Garret

 

Harry Callahan
Eleanor in Garret
1970

Weston Gallery, Inc.
Harry Callahan, Eleanor, Port Huron (in the grass)

 

Harry Callahan
Eleanor, Port Huron (in the grass)
1970

Weston Gallery, Inc.
Harry Callahan, Ireland (from The suite PB832-4 (3 works))

 

Harry Callahan
Ireland (from The suite PB832-4 (3 works))
1979

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
View Details | entire auction
Harry Callahan, Wall

 

Harry Callahan
Wall
1957

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Harry Callahan, Eleanor and Barbara, Chicago, 1953

 

Harry Callahan
Eleanor and Barbara, Chicago, 1953
Weston Gallery, Inc.
Harry Callahan, Untitled, Lakeside Fence

 

Harry Callahan
Untitled, Lakeside Fence
Weston Gallery, Inc.
Harry Callahan, Weed Seeds on Opal Glass

 

Harry Callahan
Weed Seeds on Opal Glass
circa 1965

Fraenkel Gallery
Harry Callahan, Untitled (Lake with Eleanor on Far Shore)

 

Harry Callahan
Untitled (Lake with Eleanor on Far Shore)
circa 1950

Fraenkel Gallery
Past auction results (1384)  View All
Harry Callahan, Eleanor, Port Huron and Callahan

 

Harry Callahan
Eleanor, Port Huron and Callahan, 1954
gelatin silver print

 

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Harry Callahan, Ivy Tentacles on Glass, Chicago

 

Harry Callahan
Ivy Tentacles on Glass, Chicago, 1952
gelatin silver print

 

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Harry Callahan, Grasses in Snow, Detroit

 

Harry Callahan
Grasses in Snow, Detroit, 1943
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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1912   Born: in Detroit, MI
1938   Began as an amateur photographer when he was clerk in the shipping department of Chrysler Motors
1941   Joined the Chrysler camera club and then the Detroit Photo Guild where he met many established photographers, including Ansel Adams
1942   Traveled to New York to meet Alfred Stieglitz
1946   Asked to join the photography faculty at the Institute of Design in Chicago by Arthur Siegel
1961   Left Chicago to head the photography department at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
1973   Stepped down from the chairmanship in 1973, but continued teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design.
1996   Awarded the National Medal of Arts.
1999   Died in Atlanta, GA
2010   Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (solo)
Hasted Hunt Kraeutler, New York, NY
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH

Sala Municipal de San Benito, Valladolid, Spainbr>Städtische Galerie Iserlohn, Iserlohn, Germany
IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerpen, Belgium
2009   Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Rick Wester Fine Art, New York, NY
Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt, Frankfurt, GermanyM
useum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - de Young, San Francisco, CA
Flo Peters Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
Kunsthandel Jörg Maaß, Berlin, Germany
International Center of Photography, New York, NY
Hasted Hunt, New York, NY
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Fundacion Foto Colectania, Barcelona, Spain
2008   Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY
2007   High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (solo)
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA (solo)
Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (solo)
Pace / MacGill Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ
Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Pace / MacGill Gallery, New York, NY
The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
2006   The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (solo)
CCP Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ (solo)
Danziger Projects, New York, NY (solo)
Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Daiter Contemporary, Chicago, IL
Photo Gallery International, Tokyo, Japan
Galerie f 5,6, Munchen, Germany
2005   Instituto Cervantes, Berlin, Germany
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Alan Klotz Gallery, New York, NY
Centre Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, France
Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, NY
Gendell Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Pace / MacGill Gallery, New York, NY
2004   Gallery Kayafas, Boston, MA (solo)br>HackelBury Fine Art Limited, London, UK (solo)
Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
Afterimage Gallery, Dallas, TX (solo)
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, GA
2003   Pace / MacGill Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2002   Gallery 292, New York, NY (solo)
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2001   Galerie m Bochum, Bochum, Germany (solo)
Elemental landscapes - photographs by Harry Callahan, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
1997   Harry Callahan, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (solo)
1996   Harry Callahan, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
Harry Callahan, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
1994   Callahan in New England, David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, RI (solo)
Harry Callahan - A Retrospective, Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1991   Harry Callahan - Couleur et noir-blanc, Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (solo)
1990   Harry Callahan, Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France (solo)
1984   Eleanor: Photographs by Harry Callahan, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (solo)
1981   Harry Callahan Photographs in Color, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL (solo)
1978   Harry Callahan, Blaffer Gallery - The Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston, TX (solo)
1976   Harry Callahan, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
1962   Harry Callahan and Robert Frank, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1948   Photographs by Bill Brandt, Harry Callahan, Ted Croner, Lisette Model, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:
  MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
MoCP - The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena, CA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Center for Creative Photography - University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
MOMAT The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan