One of the greatest muses in photo history, Eleanor Callahan, died this week, at the age of ninety-five. Harry Callahan photographed her for more than fifty of the sixty-three years of their marriage. From intimate nudes to double exposures of her ghostly silhouette projected onto the woods, her image acted as an anchor in Callahan’s often abstracted vision. From the beginning, Harry spoke of his work as an extension of his life; in a grant proposal he wrote that he would use the money “to photograph as I felt and desired; to regulate a pleasant form of living; to get up in the morning—free, to feel the trees, the grass, the water, sky or buildings, people—everything that affects us; and to photograph that which I saw and have always felt.” We don’t know if he got the grant, but his innumerable photos of Eleanor are a testament to his success.
- On our Photo Booth blog, Suzanne Shaheen on Eleanor and Harry Callahan. For more of Harry’s photographs of Eleanor: http://nyr.kr/xfF3S4