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Celebrating the Negative : Harry Callahan by John Loengard


“In 1956 I received at $10,000 grant from the Graham Foundation. It was really meant for architects, but none of them could leave their practice and take a year off. I took all my gear to Aix-en-Provence,’ says Harry Callahan, describing his leave of absence from teaching at the Institute of Design in Chicago.

Callahan took his family along. “We had this unbelievably wonderful place to live. [It had] a gardener with his wife and mother, and they sort of adopted us. Everything was so picturesque it seemed you couldn’t take a picture.”

Even so, one day Callahan photographed a stalk of grass in the dining room. When making the print of the picture, he exposed the negative long enough for the room’s shadowy presence to disappear, to black—as he planned it would.

John Loengard, Celebrating the Negative is available to museums as a touring exhibition from Curatorial Assistance.

Celebrating the Negative
by John Loengard
Release in 1994
Published by Arcade Publishing

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