Harry Callahan and His Students: A Study in Influence

Curated by Louise E. Shaw

Artists: 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.

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." 

Exhibitors were selected based on their maturity as contemporary American photographers, their active participation in Callahan's program, and the influence that they in turn exerted on young photographers. The exhibiting photographers include James P. Blair (Washington, D.C.), Bill Burke (Boston, MA), Harry Callahan (Providence, RI), Linda Connor (San Anselmo, CA), Jim Dow (Boston, MA), Emmet Gowin (Princeton, NJ), Joseph Jachna (Chicago, IL), Kenneth Josephson (Chicago, IL), John McWilliams (Atlanta. GA), Ray K. Metzker (Philadelphia, PA), Starr Ockenga (Boston, MA), Bart Parker (Providence, RI), Murray Riss (Memphis, TN) and Robert Simone (Atlanta, GA).

A catalogue and discussion accompanies the exhibition. Entitled Dialogue: Photography and the Institute of Design, the discussion will include Joseph Jachna, Kenneth Josephson, Peter Hales and other Illinois artists trained by Callahan at the Institute of Design. Peter Hales, a photographer and historian of photography, will speak about how instruction received at the Institute of Design fits into trends in twentieth-century photography education. 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 in general.