Oral history interview with Harry M. Callahan, 1975 February 13
Callahan, Harry M. (Harry Morey), 1912-1999
Brown, Robert F.
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 41 pages
The quality of the tapes is uneven due to mechanical difficulties. Originally recorded as 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 27 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Harry M. Callahan conducted 1975 February 13, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Callahan discusses his childhood and family. He talks about his informal training in photography and meeting his good friend, Todd Webb. He remembers meeting Ansel Adams and the great impression Adams made on him and and his photography. He remembers meeting Alfred Stieglitz. Callahan talks about his job in the General Motor's photo lab. He remembers a disappointing first trip to New York. He talks about getting a teaching position at the Chicago Institute of Design with the assistance of Arthur Siegel. He recalls Lazlo Maholy-Nagy (then, Director) who was very impressed by Callahan's photographs. Callahan remembers meeting Aaron Siskind. He talks about the impact his daughter's birth had on him. He discusses starting the photography department at the Rhode Island School of Design. He talks about photographing during his travels to France, Germany, Puerto Rico, and South America.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Harry M. Callahan, 1975 February 13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Harry M. Callahan (1912-1999) was a photographer of New York, New York. Callahan taught at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, 1946-1961. Chair of photography department, Rhode Island School of Design, 1961-1977.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001