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Harry Callahan, 1912–1999

Harry Callahan, who died in March at eighty-six, created a unique body of work that wedded his own vision of photographic modernism to deeply personal concerns. He was central to the Chicago school of photography at IIT’s Institute of Design, where he taught from 1946 to 1961, although he himself had studied only in Detroit camera clubs. Experimentation was as important to Callahan as to László Moholy-Nagy. He called it “photographic seeing,” which he explored through techniques including the use of multiple exposure, camera movement, light studies, and variations in focus. Despite the technical basis of many of Callahan’s ideas, he saw photography as a method for a philosophical and spiritual investigation of his place in the world, and thus as a means of individual expression. His ideas came together most famously in his images of his wife, Eleanor, and their daughter Barbara, although

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