Black, White & Abstract: Callahan, Siskind, White

From May 17, 2017 — October 1, 2017

Black, White & Abstract considers the work of three of the most important and influential American photographers of the 20th century: Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Minor White.

The BMA is fortunate to have strong holdings of works by Callahan and Siskind, and now White as well thanks to the recent acquisition of the nine-part series Sound of One Hand Clapping, Sequence 14, never before on view at the Museum.

Born within a decade of one another, Callahan, Siskind, and White each took up photography in the 1930s, with their work coming to the fore in the 1940s and 1950s as they embarked on long teaching careers.

Although they worked primarily in black and white they periodically experimented with color photography, especially Callahan. Each, in his own way, was interested in pursuing abstraction, though their work was always tied to representational subject matter.

All three photographers were also intrigued by exploring formal and/or conceptual themes through series of photographs.

Curated by

Rena Hoisington, Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs.

Black and white photo of a window with short curtains.

Minor White. Windowsill Daydreaming (72 N. Union Street, Rochester). 1958, printed 1960–1966. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, and Roger M. Dalsheimer Photograph Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2012.174.2. Reproduced with permission of the Minor White Archive, Princeton University Art Museum. © Trustees of Princeton University