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Lakefront Fence

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


c. 1947


Harry Callahan
American, 1912–1999

About this artwork

Harry Callahan made this photograph shortly after he moved from his hometown of Detroit to Chicago to teach at the famed Institute of Design (ID). Callahan, along with Aaron Siskind, significantly advanced the school’s experimental approach to photography, establishing it as one of the most important photographic education programs in 20th-century America. Callahan’s aesthetic of formal exploration fused with personal subjectivity meshed perfectly with the school’s priorities. This image, which resembles a woodblock print more than a photograph, is something of a puzzle.The subject of this scene—Lake Michigan, viewed through steel piles, with wooden posts in the water farther away—is abstracted due to the use of a telephoto lens and high-contrast printing. This early image is emblematic of the approach Callahan had developed in Detroit and was now using explore his new environs.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Harry Callahan


Lakefront Fence


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1942–1952


Gelatin silver print


No markings recto or verso


Image/paper: 27.3 × 26.7 cm (10 3/4 × 10 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Anstiss and Ronald Krueck in honor of Sylvia Wolf

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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