Harry Callahan

"The difference between the casual impression and the intensified image is about as great as that separating the average business letter from a poem. If you choose your subject selectively - intensively - the camera can write poetry." Harry Callahan, 1964

Master photographer Harry Callahan (1912 - 1999), whose style represents the Bauhaus school, was one of the century's most influential photographers. Harry Callahan was inspired by the works of Ansel Adams at the beginning of his career. In 1946, he joined the faculty of the Institute of Design in Chicago, where the Bauhaus ideal of Moholy-Nagy was taught. Callahan's own artistic beliefs were suited perfectly to the institute's philosophy of uniting art, industry, and technology.

Callahan consistently explored new ways of looking at the world around him. From high-contrast photographs of trees silhouetted against the snow to minimal abstractions, these images reveal his relationships to the world around him. A dedicated student of the photographic medium, he consistently returned to particular ideas to continue his investigation of them, conducting technical experiments over years.

Harry Callahan passed away in 1999 at the age of 87.


American Masters
Summer 2015