Harry Callahan Group of 7 Hand-Written Letters from Harry Callahan to Todd and Lucille Webb
Photo Date 1970c
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Charles Schwartz
About This Image
All letters are accompanied by their original envelopes with Callahan's Providence, RI address and RI postmarks and stamps.
Callahan and Webb met in 1938 when they studied together at a workshop with Ansel Adams. This was early in both men's photography careers and they remained friends for a many years to come, even as they embarked on very different paths as professional photographers. This group of letters provides a window into their close friendship and documents some of the major happenings in Callahan’s life during the 1960s and early ‘70s from a uniquely personal perspective.
Callahan is living in Providence, RI where he has gone to teach at the Rhode Island School of Design when these letters are written. They cover topics such as the publishing of a book (1964) and an upcoming exhibition at the Hallmark Gallery in New York. Callahan writes about being offered a professorship at MIT, and the strong counter-offer that RISD makes, and which he accepts along with a raise and a full-professorship (1964). Some years later, in 1969, Callahan talks to Webb about having, “… given up on the idea of trying for a Guggenheim." But then in 1972 a letter to Webb informs him that he has gotten the Guggenheim grant. Callahan and Webb kept a regular correspondence and these letters discuss not only major events in Callahan's life and career, but more mundane topics such as the weather in Providence, buying a new car and Callahan's house renovations. The letters also contain very personal topics, such as Callahan's health, his drinking, and musings on traveling and living abroad - something that the two photographers had in common.
Transcriptions available upon request
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