Many people familiar with the history of 20th-century American photography know Eleanor Callahan. If you don't yet, you have something to look forward to.
Wife, muse, and frequent photographic subject of Harry Callahan, one of the major American photographers, she has died, in Atlanta, at the age of 95.
In 63 years of marriage, often using his wife as a model, Harry Callahan slowly created a tender portrait of connubial life that, in his pictures, conveys an unparalelled sense of quiet intimacy and personal connection. (I've often said that Eleanor seems present even in some of his pictures in which she does not appear.) She deferred all credit to him, but of course she holds the status of collaborator in their work together.
Harry died in 1999.
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Rob Atkins: "I almost feel as though a somewhat distant relative has died. Studying Callahan's photographs of his wife and collaborator for so many years—decades, actually—Eleanor Callahan long been a part of my understanding and love of his work."
Featured Comment by Kenneth Tanaka: "She was here at the AIC in 2007 for a retrospective of Harry's work. I did not personally meet her but remember my astonishment when Liz Seigel introduced her in the audience during her lecture. May we all have such remarkable circumstances in long lives! Thank you for your patience and indulgence, Eleanor!"