Harry CALLAHAN, Eleanor Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1912 – 1999

Eleanor 1947 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 11.6 h x 8.4 w cm sheet 20.2 h x 12.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.624

In one of the most tender and sustained collaborations in photographic history, Callahan photographed his wife Eleanor over a fifty-year period. ‘He just liked to take the pictures of me,’ she explained to an interviewer in 2008, ‘in every pose. Rain or shine. And whatever I was doing. If I was doing the dishes or if I was half asleep’. The images are reductive, highly experimental and visually daring, bringing together an interest in the formal qualities of the two-dimensionality of the picture plane with the corporeality of Eleanor’s body – carefully observed, sensual but not fetishised.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra