Charles Harbutt, American photographer, Died at 79

  Artists, Writers

Charles Henry Harbutt was born on July 29, 1935, in Camden, New Jersey, and died June 30, 2015.

He was an American photographer.

He was a former president of Magnum, and full-time Associate Professor of Photography at Parsons School of Design in New York.

Charles grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, and learned most of his photography skills from the towsnhip’s amateur camera club.

He attended Regis High School in New York City where he took photographs for the school newspaper.

He later graduated from Marquette University.

Charles work is deeply rooted in the modern photojournalist tradition. For the first twenty years of his career he contributed to major magazines in the United States, Europe and Japan.

His work was often intrinsically political, exhibiting social and economic contingencies.

In 1959, while working as a writer and photographer for the Catholic magazine Jubilee.

Charles Henry Harbutt was invited by members of the Castro underground to document the Cuban Revolution on the strength of three photographs he had published in Modern Photography.

Charles joined Magnum Photos and was elected president of the organization twice, first in 1979.

Harbutt left the group in 1981, citing its increasingly commercial ambitions and the desire to pursue more personal work.

Charles Henry Harbutt taught photography workshops, exhibited in solo and group shows around the world, and joined the faculty of the Parsons School of Design at New School University as a full-time professor, in addition to serving as guest artist at MIT, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Charles was a founding member of Archive Pictures Inc, an international documentary photographers’ cooperative, and a member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers.

Harbutt also work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of American History, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the U.S. Library of Congress, George Eastman House, the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Center of Photography, the Center for Creative Photography, and at the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Beaubourg, and the Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris.

In 1997, Charles negatives, master prints, and archives were acquired for the collection of the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona.

A large number of his work as been placed at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City in December 2000 and received the medal of the City of Perpignan at a retrospective of his work there in 2004.

Charles Henry Harbutt passed away at 79 yrs old on June 30, 2015, due to emphysema.