Eleanor, Chicago

1947
Harry Callahan (American, 1912–1999)


Dimensions

Image: 11.6 x 8.3 cm (4 9/16 x 3 1/4 in.); Sheet: 20.3 x 12.2 cm (8 x 4 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

2003.810

Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

[arms frame face]


In 1946, Harry Callahan was hired to teach at Chicago’s Institute of Design (the so-called New Bauhaus) by László Moholy-Nagy, who was then the school’s director. Self-taught as a photographer, Callahan found the camera the ideal tool for artistic experimentation and regularly used it to record aspects of his private life. His wife Eleanor was his favorite subject for more than fifteen years. He sometimes photographed her from a great distance and other times at extremely close range, as in this starkly unsentimental study in white. Eleanor’s arms raised above her head hide her dark hair and form a pale frame around her face, giving her a slightly startled and strangely androgynous appearance.

Inscription

Inscribed, in pencil, lower right: Harry Callahan

Provenance

The artist and Aaron Siskind; Barbara and Eugene Polk, Arizona; by whom given to the MFA December 19, 2003

Credit Line

Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk

Copyright

© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, NY