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Art & Art History

Harry Callahan and His Students: A Study in Influence

Wednesday, September 14, 1983–Saturday, October 15, 1983
Gallery 400
400 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL 60607

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James P. Blair, Bill Burke, Harry Callahan, Linda Connor, Jim Dow, Emmet Gowin, Joseph Jachna, Kenneth Josephson, John McWilliams, Ray K. Metzker, Starr Ockenga, Bart Parker, Murray Riss, and Robert Simone

Harry Callahan and His Students: A Study in Influence is a major exhibition of works by Harry Callahan and thirteen of his most successful students. The show investigates the work of Callahan and his role as an educator at the Institute of Design in Chicago and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. The exhibition is organized from an art historical perspective, focusing on the influence Callahan had on each of his students in their growth as photographers and their evolution and maturity as artists.

Exhibitors were selected based on their maturity as contemporary American photographers, their active participation in Callahan’s program, and the influence that they are exerting on young photographers.

According to exhibition curator Louise E. Shaw, of the department of Art at Georgia State University in Atlanta,” Harry Callahan’s career has clearly been a reflection of the acceptance of photography as an important art form on a national level and of the growth of university education on photography…The relationship between photography’s renaissance as an art form since World War II and the development of photography education in the fine art environment is a pivotal issue to understanding recent fine art photography.”

Louise E. Shaw is the guest curator for this exhibition. Her curatorial experience began in 1976 as the assistant curator at the Atlanta Historical Society. She then took on the role of director at the Georgia State University Art Gallery in 1981. Recently, Shaw accepted another director position at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (also known as Nexus). This art center also incorporates Nexus Press, where she currently enjoys learning the two-color process of printing. Shaw has an MFA in museology.


Panel discussion on photography and the Institute of Design: Wednesday, September 28, 1983, 6–8 pm

To complement the Harry Callahan and His Students: A Study in Influence exhibition, Gallery 400 presents an evening discussion Entitled Dialogue: Photography and the Institute of Design, featuring participants Joe Jachna, Kenneth Josephson, and other Illinois artists trained at the Institute of Design by Callahan. Peter Hales, a photographer, and historian of photography will speak on how an Institute of Design training fits into trends in twentieth-century photography education. Joe Jachna and Kenneth Josephson, well-known area photographers, are featured in the exhibition. Jachna and Josephson will be joined by other Callahan and ID-trained Illinois photographers not in the exhibition to reflect on Callahan, their own education and work, and photo education generally. This latter group will most likely include Art Sinsabaugh and Charles Swedlund, who, like their teacher, both photographs and teach photography, and Joe Sterling, who has made his way outside of academia.