Oral history interview with Harry M. Callahan
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Callahan, Harry M.
Brown, Robert F.
1975 February 13
Physical Description:
41 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Harry M. Callahan conducted 1975 February 13, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
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.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
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.

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.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available online.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

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.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photography -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001