Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Eleanor and Barbara, Warehouse District, Chicago

Artist:
Harry Callahan (American, Detroit, Michigan 1912–1999 Atlanta, Georgia)
Date:
ca. 1953
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
19.0 x 24.3 cm (7 1/2 x 9 9/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.213.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© The Estate of Harry Callahan; Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
Not on view
Unlike what one might expect from a photographer associated with the Institute of Design in Chicago, Callahan’s photographs rarely focus on abstract forms that highlight the two-dimensionality of the picture plane. Instead, his work explores the intersection of form and the experience of it in everyday life. His most frequent collaborators in exploring this intersection were his wife, Eleanor, and their child, Barbara. This image belongs to a series of Chicago views in which mother and child are the sole human elements within a sun-bleached urban environment—in this case the warehouses of Chicago’s Fulton River District. At the center of the photograph’s remarkable clarity of vision, mother and daughter smile and pose to form an indivisible unit through their ordinary, intimate contact. They appear as if caught wandering away from a conventional family snapshot into a city frozen in time, on the verge of being abandoned for all eternity.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, recto BRC: "Harry Callahan"
Harry Callahan; Jane Jackson

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 57," August 22, 2011–January 9, 2012.

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