Tag Archives: Eleanor Callahan

Farewell Eleanor Callahan

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The widow of the late American photographer Harry Callahan has passed away aged 95.  Eleanor was Callahan’s model and muse for over 50 years, and he photographed her hundreds of times in an array of sensual, highly formalised portraits.  Recalling the photographic relationship between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe and, closer to home, Peter Peryer’s studies of his then-wife, Erika Parkinson, the Callahans were involved in a prolonged and deeply intimate artistic collaboration.

Serving as both a symbol of womanhood and formal component of his compositions, Callahan captured his wife’s shapely (and often nude) figure draped across beds, submerged in water, and perhaps most memorably propped up against a radiator. “He just liked to take the pictures of me,” she said in a 2008 interview.  “In every pose. Rain or shine. And whatever I was doing. If I was doing the dishes or if I was half asleep. And he knew that I never, never said no. I was always there for him. Because I knew that Harry would only do the right thing.”