R.I.P. Charles Harbutt, 1935-2015. “I Don’t Take Pictures; Pictures Take Me”

Keith Goldstein:

R.I.P. Charles Harbutt.

Originally posted on Keith Goldstein Photography:

One book, amongst others, that I keep close at hand is “Travelog”, by Charles Harbutt. I have no recollection of purchasing it, but I have owned my hardcover copy for over 35 years. It is one of many books that I keep returning to again and again. Harbutt was for many years a photojournalist, widely traveled, a teacher, and notably, twice a past president of Magnum.

What is it that keeps me returning to Harbutt’s work? I have yet to put my finger on it. Though, through the passing years its meaning becomes clearer and clearer. I know these images intimately in many ways. They are part of my subconscious.

“My photographs are both real and surreal,” Charles Harbutt writes of Travelog, containing some 120 examples of his work. “For a while I called them superbanalisms. I don’t think of this book as a portfolio of my best work, but…

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