In Memory: Eleanor Callahan
Eleanor Knapp Callahan, wife and muse of the great photographer Harry Callahan died on Wednesday at 95.
I am moved by her matter-of-fact cooperation with her brilliant husband's work, for her financial support of the family, for her happy, enduring marriage: "Sixty-four years, and not one bad one...".
Here, Harry Callahan photographed her with their only child, Barbara, in 1953. He said, "I wanted to photograph the person for whom I had feeling. It wasn’t enough just to photograph a nude."
Look at her: Lush, austere, graceful– nothing like the starved models of today. A woman, a mother, a presence but never a product.
We all know such women; let us pause to honour their forthright integrity, whether viewed by eye or camera. Callahan was an extraordinary photographer, but perhaps his greatest gift was the capture of the uncomplicated glory of a strong and splendid woman simply living her life.