Image: Eleanor
(Detroit, Michigan, 1912 - 1999, Atlanta, Georgia)

Eleanor , c. 1947 (printed 1970s)

Gelatin silver print
4 1/2 in. x 3 3/8 in. (11.43 cm x 8.57 cm)
Purchased with funds from Eleanor W. Aggarwal
Harry Callahan is credited as “one of the most original photographers of the 20th century.” Eschewing dramatic subject matter in favor of more banal subjects and scenes, Callahan succeeded in teasing out and uncovering the beauty in the everyday with his lucid, unsentimental vision. Much of Callahan’s photography captured scenes from his personal life and experience. Three themes dominate his art: his wife, Eleanor; urban life and architecture; and the natural landscape. For Callahan, Eleanor represents what the artist considered as woman in all her guises—as beloved, as mother and as symbol of nature. While his images of her body are often sensual and adoring, they rarely idealize, conforming to Callahan’s belief in the camera’s role as a recorder of fact.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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