Harry Callahan (Detroit, 1912 – Atlanta, 1999) began his photographic journey in 1938 while he worked at Chrysler Motors. His encounter with Ansel Adams in 1941 and his discovery of Adams’ work became a fundamental turning point in Callahan’s career. Shortly after, in 1946, his photographs caught the attention of László Moholy-Nagy, who invited Callahan to join the faculty at the Chicago Institute of Design. Callahan would go on to be named director of the Department of Photography in 1949. In 1961, after 15 years in Chicago, he left his position to head the Department of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he taught until his retirement in 1977.
Spanning over six decades, Callahan’s career was defined by constant innovation. His work was created using a wide range of techniques, formats, and effects that demonstrate his interest in experimentation derived from his belief that photography offer a new perspective on reality.
In 1978 Harry Callahan represented his country at the Venice Biennale, and a year later was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been recognized with numerous distinctions such as the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts Award (1992), the Edward MacDowell Medal (1993), and the National Medal of Arts (1993).