The Fayette Citizen-Weekend Page
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Callahan shows the evlution of Atlanta in latest series

Weekend Editor

Sometimes we notice the minute changes in the appearance of an object when it is affected by a change of some sort, but typically, the object remains the object for us and we take that unique vision for granted. For Harry Callahan, a change in light, time or camera position, would create fantastic new objects and scenes out of what seems ordinary or plain. The High Museum of Art Folk Art and Photography Galleries will be displaying his work from 1981-1996 through Nov. 7.

Callahan was born in 1912 and did not make a serious move into photography until 1941. He had just witnessed a presentation by Ansel Adams and had decided to quit his accounting job and make a go at being a photographer. Over the next 36 years, Callahan honed his skills through experimentation. He often explored a single subject or theme through numerous images, changed only slightly but creating radically different compositions.

Callahan established himself as a master of black and white photography and then moved to almost exclusively shooting in color. Callahan taught photography at such institutions as Institute of Design in Chicago, Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Rhode Island School of design, and the University of California, Berkley. He retired from teaching in 1977 and moved to Atlanta in 1983.

The majority of the photographs in the exhibit were taken in the South, especially Atlanta. Habitual walks in the Peachtree area inspired him to photograph the evolving city scene. It was also one of the only times that he went back and shot some black and white photos, an extended series devoted to north Georgia grasses and trees outside his home near Ansley Park.

“Callahan made photography his life,” said Tom Southall, curator of photography at the High Museum. “The last of Callahan's works have an almost effortless subtlety and control that comes from a lifetime of experience, and have a special interest to us because so many of his last works were devoted to exploring our city.”

The High Museum of Art Folk Art and Photography Galleries are located downtown in the Georgia-Pacific Center at 133 Peachtree Street. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

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