Charles Harbutt, a former president of Magnum Photos, saw photography not as art, but as “a reality high.” An influential teacher and mentor, he died on Tuesday at the age of 79.
Charles Harbutt, a former president of Magnum Photos, died Tuesday in Monteagle, Tenn., where he was conducting a photography workshop. He was 79 and had been suffering from emphysema, his wife, the photographer Joan Liftin, said.
Charles Harbutt, a member of Magnum from 1963 to 1981, died at the end of June, 2015. A unique and remarkable photographer, he was president of Magnum twice — from 1970-1972 and 1976-1978 — and was an important presence in the agency for many years. Charlie was also a singular teacher — as well as an insightful and thought provoking writer on photography, as exhibited by the following texts, which are excerpts from his three monographs. We at Magnum will miss him deeply and send our condolences to his widow, the photographer Joan Liftin, and his children, Sarah, Charles, and Damian. — Alex Webb