20 January 2020: Edward Weston, A Photographer “with an international reputation,” 1913–1958; PART 1 of 2

Photo Cinéma: Technique Art Documentation, February 1950 (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

“Edward Weston, the greatest American photographer, is currently exhibiting his works in Paris. This is the photographic event of the season!“—Daniel Maslcelt, “L’Art d’Edward Weston, Photo Cinéma, February 1950[1]

Edward Weston’s name first appears in a publication from outside the United States in 1913, as a listing within an exhibition catalogue for the Toronto Camera Club’s Tenth Salon, 22nd Annual Exhibition.[2] By 1958, the year of his death, this modest seed would flourish into an astonishing harvest of nearly 300 international references in books, newspapers, periodicals, and exhibition catalogues. The countries of origin include Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Palestine (pre-State of Israel), Italy, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, and Switzerland. Of these, the majority hail, in descending order, from Mexico, England and France—with Canada, Germany, Japan, and Holland not far behind. Of course, this merely reflects the published references we have located—there are certainly oh-so-many more left to discover. Discussing contributions from all of these nations would overwhelm any blog post. To begin, here is Part One of our two-part post presenting a tantalizing, representative sample. (Look for Part Two in February.)

Edward Weston. [Advertisement] “Have You?” Glendale Evening News 18 December 1914.

In 1914, Edward Weston began promoting his Tropico studio as one “with an international reputation.”[3] This was no inflated pronouncement. By the end of 1914 he had received accolades for work exhibited in a second Toronto Camera Club Salon, the 1914 Eleventh Salon, 23rd Annual Exhibition,[4] and gained an impressive “Highest American Honors” acknowledgement from the prestigious 1914 London Salon of Photography.[5]

Weston’s participation in this 1914 London Salon, his first London Salon, generated what is, perhaps, the most effusive early foreign response to his work: a glowing review in the 29 September 1914 London weekly, Amateur Photographer and Cinematographer.[6] Here, reviewer Bertram Park highlights Weston’s five exhibited photographs:

A few representative workers in pictorial photography have been asked by us to put on record for the benefit of our readers which they thought the best, or at any rate the most interesting, picture at the London Salon: some of the replies already to hand we give below. / The task is not an easy one; and we would advise those who are anxious to improve their work to profit by the opportunity which the exhibition gives them—it is to remain open until October 17th—and study the work there carefully. It may not happen that their choice will be the same as that of any whom we have asked; but the examination of the pictures and the attention given to each individual one in order to arrive at a decision must be in itself extremely valuable. / … / The Honorary Secretary pronounces for a Series by Edward H. Weston. / In reply to our enquiry, Mr. Bertram Park writes: ‘Which is the best picture in the Salon? That is a truly difficult question to answer, but I can tell you which I think is the best group of pictures by the same artist. They are Nos. 98, 107, 153, 169, and 172, by Edward H. Weston, of California. / ‘Mr. Weston is evidently a man of original ideas, sound technique, a refined artistic perception and sense of decoration. I cannot remember having ever seen any of his work before, and it is a very great pleasure to welcome a newcomer whose pictures show such a distinctive personality. No. 107, ‘Toxophilus, a Decorative Study,’ is truly decorative, an extremely interesting study of a nude archer. There is very little modelling in the tones, which give one almost the impression of silhouette. No. 98, ‘Summer Sunshine,’ is a more elaborate arrangement with full modelling, but nevertheless a very narrow range of tones—an admirably posed full-length figure of a laughing girl in a rather dim light of diffused sunshine. No. 153 is an essay of quite a different character—’Child Study in Grey.’ A still narrower range of tones is used in delicate grey of a style which might be described as ‘Cadbyesque,’ a description which will be readily understood. The expression on the child’s face is delightfully natural, fresh and sparkling—in its own way quite a masterpiece of portraiture. / ‘No. 169, ‘Carlota,’ another portrait, is in a lower key. The model, as in the last mentioned, is lit from top and from the rear, so that her face is mostly in shadow with a halo of light illuminating her profile. There is a charming softness about the work, a softness which is so different from fuzziness, and an atmosphere of refinement and mystery which is exceedingly attractive. In the last few years at the Salon we have had perhaps too many Austrian, Hungarian, and German prints, amongst the chief characteristics of which are a forceful, almost brutal, strength, and rich decisive tone values, so that the delicate elusiveness of the pictures I have mentioned appealed at once as something which gave a fresh outlook and a welcome change.

Catalogue of the International Exhibition of the London Salon of Photography 1914
(Courtesy of the National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

In all, Weston exhibited thirty-one photographs in six London Salons between the years 1914–1919, and in 1917 the organization accorded him the honor of election as a member. That same year, W.R. Bland extolled Weston’s portrait of Miss Dextra Baldwin, one of seven Westons in the 1917 Salon, in Photograms of the Year (London): “One of the immediately arresting pictures at the London Salon was ‘Portrait of Miss Dextra Baldwin’ (Plate XXIII.), by Edward H. Weston, who invariably contributes something of fresh insight. Very much “knowing how” has gone to the placing and posing of the figure, even if Mr. Weston had no hand in it as ladies’ outfitter. The delightful figure, the decorative lines of light, not forgetting the lamp, have enduring charms.”[7]

Illustration of Portrait of Miss Dextra Baldwin and W.R. Bland’s review in Photograms of the Year 1917–1918 (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

Over the years, references to or photographs by Weston appeared in seventy-four English publications. He even surfaced as a topic of interest in the midst of World War II. In November 1942, under the heading “Genius,” Lilliput magazine published “Edward Weston of California,” an account by British journalist and critic John Davenport of his meeting with Weston in 1936.[8] Davenport’s article, illustrated with eight Weston photographs, reads, in part:

Lilliput (November 1942)
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

… Wherever he goes he will always be a Californian, and will always return to California. His art is absolutely autochthonous. To many people California means Hollywood, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs; Weston’s California is Point Lobos, Monterey, the High Sierras, San Francisco: the California of Steinbeck, of Robinson Jeffers, both close friends of his. / The object in itself; that is the secret of Edward Weston’s art. A magnificent technician, he can teach his pupils as Bach taught his: but composition remains his secret. Imagine him with half a dozen pupils, photographing the same subject. The result would be seven splendid prints; but in a mysterious way, although his influence could be seen in each, only one could possibly be his. / Photography to-day smells too much of magnesium. It is also too much the expression of strident or squeaky personalities, artificially creating senseless and arbitrary patterns. Weston has the self-abnegatory devotion of a Nadar. Other nineteenth-century photographers—Octavius Hill, Fox Talbot, Mrs. Cameron—have the same seriousness, but his quality of poetry is all his own. / A crack in a wall, the trail of a bug in the sand, a pepper plant, pots in a Mexican market, cloud shapes: one feels that one is seeing those things for the first time. His gifts as a portraitist are equally extraordinary. He thinks nothing of taking 30 exposures for the sake of the 31st. His nudes, sprawled among sand-dunes, are as startling as those archaic sculptures disinterred before the thrilled gaze of Leonardo’s Florentines. / In 1936 Howard Putzel, the American art dealer, drove us out to a bungalow in Santa Monica. It was the home of Edward Weston. He showed us photographs. He showed us literally hundreds. Charis Wilson, his present wife, made cups of tea. Or perhaps it was coffee. The whole experience was hell. I’d never thought about photography before, and was completely stunned. Photograph after photograph, cup after cup, the afternoon wore on. I became incapable of movement. / Edward and Charis, we afterwards discovered, thought we were the most ghastly people they’d ever met. Unresponsive, and tea-logged. / I bought two photographs—and we went away with Howard, who had relished the whole catastrophe. / Next day I returned, and charged into the house before they had time to make a getaway through the back door. I tried to stammer explanations and admirations; we drank a great deal of Pabst beer; we plunged into the grey Pacific; we ate a quantity of artichokes; Hollywood melted as unutterably as M. Valdemar in Poe’s tale; in short, we met Edward Weston. / … I still don’t know how a photographer can do what Weston does. He has a gigantic Picasso eye. …

Surpassing the number of published references in England are those which appeared in Mexico. The preponderance of Mexican publications—eighty-three—is hardly surprising in light of Weston’s three-year sojourn there between 1923–1926 and his long-standing involvement with its thriving cultural, intellectual and artistic circles.

Portrait of Tina Modotti and Ricardo Gómez Robelo [Poe-esque] as illustrated in Excelsior, 25 June 1921

The earliest Mexican reference to Weston precedes his arrival by two years. On 25 June 1921, the Mexico City newspaper Excélsior published nine photographs on the first page of its Rotogravure section—two are portraits by Weston: Tina Modotti and Ricardo Gómez Robelo [Poe-esque].[9] The catalyst for the Rotogravure piece remains unclear, although the photographers seem to correspond with two later exhibitions: the December 1921–January 1922 Fifth Annual International Photographic Salon Under the Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles and a March 1922 group show at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The captions accompanying Weston’s photographs translate as follows: “Tina Modotti. An admirable portrait in its composition, character and chiaroscuro, by Mr. Edward Weston.” and “R.S. Robelo. One of the very beautiful photographs by Mr. Edward Weston of Glendale, prize winner three consecutive years at the London Salon.”

In addition to numerous exhibition reviews in Mexican newspapers (Weston participated in a total of twelve solo and group shows there between 1922–1944), his photographs were reproduced frequently in various periodicals—a reflection of the esteem in which his work was held. One interesting example is the November 1923 Irradiador, which features his powerful modernist photograph Steel: Armco, Middletown, Ohio on the cover, although no article by or about Weston is included in the issue.[10]

Steel: Armco, Middletown, Ohio, 1922 as illustrated on the cover of Irradiador, November 1923 (Collection of the Jean Charlot Collection, University of Hawaii, Manoa)

Another significant publication is the 15 November 1923 issue of La Antorcha.[11] Under the title, “Cielo de Mexico,” [Mexican Sky] is an evocative two-page spread comprised of five luminous Weston photographs. The illustrations are accompanied by a brief attribution, which translates: “Photographic studies by the notable North American artist Weston, who graciously provided permission for ‘La Antorcha’ to reproduce his beautiful works.”

Advertisement for the Weston-Modotti studio, Mexican Folkways, August/September 1925 (Collection of the Hermoteca Nacional Mexico)

Not surprisingly, given Weston’s close association with many of its contributors, the Mexican publication most populated with Weston items is Mexican Folkways. Between 1925–1930, Weston photographs, articles and even Weston-Modotti studio advertisements appeared in a total of thirteen issues of this influential, bi-lingual journal. Founded and edited by Frances Toor, it benefited from exceptional art editorship by Jean Charlot and Diego Rivera as well as contributions from such important figures as Dr. Atl, and Anita Brenner.

A few stand-out examples date from 1926. The first, in the April/May issue, is the Diego Rivera article, “Edward Weston and Tina Modotti.”[12] Illustrated with Weston’s compelling Tres Ollas, it is the source of Rivera’s now famous quote in praise of Weston that Weston would use in future articles and promotional brochures: “Few are the modern plastic expressions that have given me purer and more intense joy than the master-pieces that are frequently produced in the work of Edward Weston, and I confess that I prefer the productions of this great artist to the majority of contemporary, significant paintings. … there is not in Europe, by far, a photographer of such dimensions as Weston. … Edward Weston is THE AMERICAN ARTIST; that is to say, one whose sensibility contains the extreme modernity of the PLASTICITY OF THE NORTH AND THE LIVING TRADITION OF THE LAND OF THE SOUTH.’ ”HE SOUTH.’ ”

Diego Rivera article, “Edward Weston and Tina Modotti” and illustration of Tres Ollas, Mexican Folkways, April/May 1926 (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

The June/July 1926 issue features three articles with Weston content: “Mexican Painting: Pulquerías,” by Rivera, with five Weston images, including La Hija de Bachimba[13]; Rivera’s related “Names of Pulquerías,” with two Weston photographs[14]; and “The Rosalie Evans Letters from Mexico” a book review by Clare Ousley, graced with three Westons.[15]

La Hija de Bachimba in Diego Rivera, “Mexican Painting: Pulquerías,” Mexican Folkways, June/July 1926 (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

From Mexico, we cross the Atlantic to France, the fertile source of fifty Weston related publications. The earliest is a laudatory assessment by Herbert Du Plessis in the 15 May 1927 Parisian periodical, Les Artistes d’Aujourd’hui.[16] Du Plessis focuses on Weston’s contributions to the Autumn 1926 Pictorial Annual of The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, illustrating four photographs to do so. Like Rivera’s comment in Mexican Folkways, Du Plessis’ tribute was so appreciated by Weston that he quoted it in a number of his promotional brochures: “Edward Weston has brought to realization work in which he has surpassed himself. I have at hand a photograph of a torso, a masterpiece of plastic art treated with prodigious skill; no painter among the great could have executed a work of more perfect beauty.”

Herbert Du Plessis, “A la Société Royale de Photographie à Londres.” Les Artistes d’Aujourd’hui: Revue Illustrée Bi-Mensuelle, 15 May 1927 (Collection of Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)

In June 1930, the first of two issues with Weston photographs appeared in Transition: An International Quarterly for Creative Experiment, the avant-garde Paris-based literary and art journal distributed by the influential Shakespeare and Co. bookstore.[17] Titled “American Nature Photos,” it features three Weston images intriguingly categorized in the Contents page under the heading “Reality and Beyond.” These three photographs, each accompanied by a brief caption but no related article, are: Fragment [aka Knees; Bertha Wardell], Pepper 2P and Pepper 7P.

Contributors list and Fragment [Knees] in Transition: An International Quarterly for Creative Experiment, June 1930 (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

The second Transition issue to reference Weston appeared seven years later, in Volume 26 (no month stated) 1937. It includes “Three Photographers: Brassai—Man Ray—Edward Weston,” a three image pictorial set within a section titled “The Eye.”[18] One photograph by each photographer is illustrated with a brief caption but no related text.

Weston showed in nine exhibitions in France between 1931–1955, four of them solo shows.[19] His first, at the Parisian bookshop, Galerie Jean Naert, occurred in December 1931.[20] Although I have been unable to find a French review, an informative comment in the November 1931 issue of The Carmelite exclaimed: “… Mr. Weston’s work continues to attract internation [sic]. Miss Millicent Taylor, a recent visitor to Carmel, arranged with Mr. Weston to display his work in Paris. Miss Taylor expressed the opinion that Mr. Weston’s work was that of a prophet, unequaled anywhere for its lucidity and appreciation of the potentialities of any given subject.”[21]

Exhibition Announcement, Exposition de Photographies de Edward Weston. Galerie Jean Naert, Paris, December 1931
(© Edward Weston Archive, Center for Creative Photography)

The most impressive of Weston’s French shows was an extensive 125 piece retrospective that opened in January 1950 at the Galerie d’Art Kodak-Pathé in Paris. Organized by fellow photographer Daniel Masclet with Group XV, it was a rousing success. So much so that in February, 122 of the original Kodak venue photographs were transferred to the American Embassy Annex where, under the auspices of the Services Américains d’Information Paris, they supplemented the European premiere of the 1947 Willard Van Dyke/U.S. Information Agency 1947, The Photographer.[22]

Window display for Weston exhibition at Galerie d’Art Kodak-Pathé, Paris, 1950 (© Edward Weston Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona) [23]

Although no catalogue from the Kodak-Pathé exhibition has been located, we know precisely what photographs were included in the Embassy show thanks to a mimeographed catalogue the Embassy had the foresight to publish. It contains a two-page Weston biography, a 122 item checklist, and an acknowledgement of Daniel Masclet for his assistance in organizing the show.[24]

Exhibition Catalogue Cover, Une Exposition D’Oeuvres du Photographe Edward Weston, L’Ambassade Americaine, Paris, 1950. (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

Enthusiastic reviews and related responses appeared in numerous French publications between January and April 1950, including Photo-Revue: journal des amateurs et des photographes; Le Monde; Arts Littérature Spectacles; Variétiés; and the Kodéco périodique du personnel Kodak-Pathé.[25]

One especially well-illustrated article celebrating Weston, written by Daniel Masclet, appeared in the February issue of Photo Cinéma: Technique Art Documentation.[26]

Although they never met, Weston and Masclet developed a lasting friendship based on frequent correspondence. Naturally, the Paris exhibitions were a topic of ample discussion. Once the double venues concluded, Weston penned the following from Wildcat Hill[27]:

Dear Monsieur Masclet— / A thousand thanks for the large package of newspapers, magazines, and photographs—my ‘press notices’. / How kind and thoughtful of you! I am especially eager to read your article, but all translations must wait until a friend calls on me; then I will write you again. I guess the figure in the group with cross above must be you? After all these months I see you face to face. / What is the present status of the (our) show? And what do you think of the practicality of sending it on to Munich? I am of course anxious to have my prints back again, but since they are so close to Munich, the idea is worth considering. I will take your advice. / [p. 2:] The publication day of my book on Point Lobos is only a month away. It will have 30 full size reproductions—the finest I have seen. Your copy will be sent, with my warm regards, in May. / By the way, I thought the reproductions of my work in ‘Photo-Cinema’ were excellent for a magazine. / And now to get translations and write you again. Until then— / My deep appreciation— / and best wishes— / Edward Weston / 3-21-’50.”[X] Note: No evidence of a Munich show has been found.

Articles about Weston continued to appear in French publications throughout the 1950s. For example, Dody Warren published a two-part retrospective piece titled “Edward Weston: 50 ans à la recherche de l’objectivité” in the October and November/December 1953 issues of Photo-Monde. Seven photographs are illustrated in Part I and five in Part II.[28] The text of Warren’s introduction to Part I reads:

Charis, Santa Monica on cover of Photo-Monde, October 1953 (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

1953 is, for Edward Weston, the beginning of a second half century of photographic activity. Since 1915, a warning hovering over his editing desk, obsessed him. It stood before him, when, seated in front of portrait negatives, he deftly softened the outline of a face, removed a defect or erased freckles. ‘Liar ‘was written before him ironically. This one word is the signpost [p. 15:] typical at the beginning of the long road, famous now, that it has since traveled. / In 1920, he destroyed the negatives made during the previous five years. Now it no longer represented what he believed. In 1922, abandoning all that had earned him these negatives: growing celebrity, successful portrait career, countless medals and silver medals, election to the London Photography Show, which was an honor [p. 16:] supreme at that time — he left for Mexico City. There, participating in the general revival of the Arts at that time, a gap widened between the fuzzy impressionist photographs of his past and the new conceptions which took shape in his mind and in front of his lens. / From 1930, he settled in California, in Carmel, and the commercial portraits with which he earned his living followed the same path as the portraits and other photographs he [p. 17:] did ‘for himself ‘. This path was defined ‘Become always more photographic, never months’. In conclusion of doubts to manage to earn enough to support his family, an obligation was obvious: ‘Portraits Without Retouch ‘. Subsequently, he only took photos according to his convictions and his only way of seeing. At present, he has almost completed his major work: the selection and the drawing of a thousand of the best [p. 20:] negatives of his career. He then thinks of making a collection of nudes. / His conceptions of photography in their latest form are nowhere better expressed than by himself in his personal diary, kept intermittently for years until 1934. The extracts from this journal which follow are drawn in part from his book My Camera on Point Lobos, Virginia Adams and Houghton Mifflin Edit., 1950. [Translation by Google Translate]

A fitting conclusion to this discussion of French publications is a two-page memorial to Weston, who died on 1 January 1958. Written by Fritz Neugass and illustrated with four Weston photographs, it appeared in the 20 April 1958 issue of Le Photographe: Revue des professionnels et du commerce photo-cinéma.[29]

Edward Weston portrait of David McAlpin, New York as illustrated on the cover of Le Photographe: Revue des professionnels et du commerce photo-cinéma, 20 April 1958 (Microfilm copy, New York Public Library

Neugass’ tribute reads, in part:

New Years Eve, Edward Weston, one of America’s best known photographers, died after a long and painful illness. For the past thirty years, he had lived in a small house in Carmel, California, where, completely retired, he devoted himself entirely to photography. Suffering, at the end of his life, from Parkinson’s disease, he could no longer practice his art. It was a bitter and harsh end for this fanatic of truth who refused compromises and preferred to lose his customers rather than to flatter them basely. / In 1902, at the age of sixteen, his father gave him his first camera. This day was to decide all his life. /… / Then, after his marriage, he opened a workshop on the west coast, which was very successful. … His name was known all over the West, … But he was asked to touch up the wrinkles, to the point that there was nothing left of the real face and he resigned himself to it only reluctantly. / In 1915, at the San Francisco International Exposition he received a medal. For the first time, he saw modern French art which inspired him with new ideas. He experimented. What happens if a light ray hits an angle? A sort of photographic cubism similar to Picasso’s paintings. / [p. 224:] Weston decides to sacrifice his commercial success for the truth and to take only uncompromising photos. He became aware of his mission as an innovator in photography. / … / Weston experiments with semi-abstract forms and discovers a new world that fascinates him. Abstraction and realism: these were the two poles between which the work of his life was accomplished. / … / Mushrooms fascinate him, vegetables—leeks and cabbage—reveal new forms to him, seashells show him the beauty and richness of nature. He feels himself exploring new worlds where he finds more and more abstract forms from which his fantasy is inspired. / … / Shortly before his illness, he made his first color tests. All his life, he had seen in color but had to reproduce in black and white. / Weston leaves in America a large number of disciples deeply impressed by his work… [Translation by Google Translate]

Coming in February 2020: Part Two of our two-part post, Edward Weston, A Photographer “with an international reputation,” 1913–1958

Highlighting Weston’s reception in Germany, Holland, Denmark, Japan, and China.

Stay Tuned!


1 Daniel Masclet, “Pourquoi je suis revenu à la photographie pure,” Bulletin de la Société française de photographie et de cinématographie, Year 82-Series 4, Vol. 1: No. 2, February 1939, 32-34.
(Collection of the Bibliothèque National de France)

2 Toronto Camera Club, Tenth Salon, 22nd Annual Exhibition, Toronto, Canada: Toronto Camera Club, 28 April–3 May 1913.
(Edward Weston Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona; Scrapbook E)
Unfortunately, the only part of this catalogue I have been able to locate is a cover, pasted into Scrapbook E, page 89 in the Edward Weston Archive, Center for Creative Photography. No copy of the inside pages has been located.

3 Edward Weston, [Advertisement] “Have You?,” Glendale Evening News, 18 December 1914, 3.

4 Toronto Camera Club, Toronto Camera Club in Affiliation with the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain Eleventh Salon 23rd Annual Exhibition, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Toronto Camera Club, 1914. [10 checklist entries]
(National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London)
Weston exhibited ten photographs in this exhibition, none of which appear in Conger. The “Catalogue” entry for Weston reads: “EDWARD H. WESTON / Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles. / Tropico, Cal., P.S.A. / 405. Bobbie. (Hon. Mention) / 406. Billy Buster. / 407. Margrethe. / 408. O, Alma Mia! (Hon. Mention) / 409. Flowers and Sunshine / 410. Blithe as the Air is, and as Free. / 411. In Sunshine Clad. / 412. Abandon. (Bronze Medal, Class C) / 413. I Do Believe in Fairies. / 414. Toxophilus—A Decorative Study. (Hon. Mention)

5 London Salon of Photography, Catalogue of the International Exhibition of the London Salon of Photography 1914, London: London Salon of Photography, 1914. [5 checklist entries]
(National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London)
Weston exhibited five photographs in the 1914 London Salon, none of which appear in Conger. They are listed in the “Catalogue” section as follows:
“98 Summer Sunshine” / “107 Toxophilus: A Decorative Study” / “153 Child Study in Grey” / “169 ‘Carlota’” / “172 Abandon”

6 R. Child Bayley, ed. and Bertram Park, “A Symposium: Which Is the Best Picture at the London Salon? The Honorary Secretary Pronounces for a Series by Edward H. Weston,” Amateur Photographer and Cinematographer: An Illustrated Weekly for Every Camera User 38:1351, 29 September 1914, 259.
(Photocopy courtesy of George Eastman Museum)

7 W.R. Bland, “Observations on Some Pictures of the Year,” In Photograms of the Year 1917–1918: The Annual Review of the World’s Pictorial Photographic Work, edited by F.J. Mortimer, 8–18, London: Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ltd., n.d. [1918]. [Plate 23 as: Portrait of Miss Dextra Baldwin]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
Weston exhibited seven photographs in the 1917 London Salon, none of which appear in Conger. They are listed in the exhibition catalogue as follows: “2 Portrait of Miss Dextra Baldwin” / “91 Eugene Hutchinson” / “231 The Fan (Margarethe Mather)” / “248 Portrait Group” / “321 Eugene Hutchinson” / “334 Katharine Edson” / “347 Portrait of My Father”

8 John Davenport, “Genius: Edward Weston of California,” Lilliput 11:5, Issue No. 65, November 1942, 405–414. [8 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
The following eight Weston photographs are illustrated and titled in this article as follows:
Yucca and Granite in the Mohave Desert (Conger 999/1937); On the 20th Century-Fox Lot, Hollywood (Conger 1525/1940); Fragment of a Juniper Tree, High Sierra (Not in Conger); Advertising on a Los Angeles Boulevard (Conger 967/1936); Death Valley (Not in Conger); Juniper Tree, Sierra Nevada (Conger 1087/1937); Deserted Cabin in High Sierra (Conger 1084/1937); and Slaughter Wheel in the Yosemite Valley (Conger 1344/1938).

9 “Sección de Rotograbado” [Número 42] Excélsior: El Periodico de la Vida Nacional [Mexico City], 25 June 1921, Sección de Rotograbado, p. 1. [2 Illustrations]
Nine photographs are illustrated in this pictorial piece. In addition to the two Westons, there are also two photographs by Margrethe Mather, Pierrot and Moon Kwan, two photographs by “Mr. Horwicz,” Céfiro en el Bosque, and Reposo; two photographs by Jane Reece, Primavera and Lorado Taft; and one photograph by Arnold Schroeder, Mercedes.
Apologies for the poor quality of our illustration, which is a photocopy of a microfilm print out.

10 [Edward Weston], [Steel: Armco, Middletown, Ohio], Irradiador 3, November 1923, cover. [1 Illustration]
(Collection of the Jean Charlot Collection, University of Hawaii, Manoa)
The caption accompanying the cover image reads: “STEEL WESTON.” Weston is also listed among the contributors on the title page as follows: “Este Numero Contiene Trabajos de Emile Malespine, José Juan Tablada, Kyn Taniya, Polo—As, Gaston Dinner, y Colaboración Gráfica de Dwad [sic] Weston, Leopoldo Méndez y Hugo Tilhgman.”

11 “El Cielo de México.” La Antorcha 1:7, 15 November 1924, 20–21. [5 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
The five Weston photographs illustrated are: [Clouds and Tree Tops] (Not in Conger), [Streaky Clouds] (Not in Conger), Valle de San Juan Teotihuacán (Conger 109/1923), Palma Cuernavaca [with leaves] (Conger 135/1924), and Crepusculo (Conger 148/1924).

12 Diego Rivera, “Edward Weston and Tina Modotti,” Mexican Folkways 2:6 [& 1], April–May 1926, 16–17 (English), 27–28 (Spanish). [1 Illustration]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
Rivera’s effusive comment was subsequently quoted by Weston and others in numerous publications. These include Weston’s “Statement” for his October–November 1927 exhibition with Brett Weston at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art; in many of his promotional brochures and Carmel studio advertisements; and in various articles.

13 Diego Rivera, “Mexican Painting: Pulquerías” [”La Pintura de las Pulquerías”], Mexican Folkways 2:7 [& 2], June–July 1926, 6–10 (English), 10–15 (Spanish). [5 Illustrations] (Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

14 Diego Rivera, “Names of Pulquerías” [”Los Nombres de las Pulquerías”], Mexican Folkways 2:7 [& 2], June–July 1926, 16–17 (English), 18–19 (Spanish). [2 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
The two Weston photographs illustrated in “Names of Pulquerías” are: [Los changos vaciladores] (Conger 211/1926) and [Man Wearing a Sombrero from La Hija de Bachimba] (Not in Conger).

15 Clare Ousley, “The Rosalie Evans Letters from Mexico” [”Las Cartas de Rosalie Evans Desde Mexico”], Mexican Folkways 2:7 [& 2], June–July 1926, 38–39 (English), 40–41 (Spanish). [3 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
This book review of The Rosalie Evans Letters From Mexico makes no reference to Weston, but does illustrate the following three photographs: [pulqueria mural: charro with lasso] (Conger 210/1926); [Los Changos Vaciladores] (Conger 212/1926); and [two children with pulqueria mural: landscape] (Conger 207/1926).

16 Herbert Du Plessis, “A la Société Royale de Photographie à Londres,” Les Artistes d’Aujourd’hui: Revue Illustrée Bi-Mensuelle, 15 May 1927, 19. [4 Illustrations]
(Collection of Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).
The full Du Plessis’ article reads: “Edward Weston / Personne ne nie les progrès immenses obtenus dans l’art photographique, affranchi des entraves qui le maintenait dans des procèdes purement mécaniques. / Tout comme les peintres, les photographes peuvent aujourd’hui exprimer leur individualité et leur sensibilité artistique propre; la camera n’est qu’un instrument servant la mettre en relief leur science technique, leur façon personnelle de traiter les valeurs. Ces photographes sont de beau, de vrais artistes, et comme tel Edward Weston mérite d’ être cite au tout premier rang. / Il avait, a la Société Royale de Photographic a Londres, expose un Portrait de W.A. Alcock, qui était bien ce que l’on peut exiger de plus parfait comme réalisation photographique, et cependant les travaux plus récents de ce virtuose de la chambre noire me semblent présenter encore un plus haut intérêt. / Edward Weston vient de vivre deux années au Mexique et y a réalise des travaux ou il s’est surpasse avec des épreuves parfaites par elles-mêmes et par leurs si belles qualités décoratives. J’ai eu également sous les yeux une épreuve reproduisant un torse, véritable chef-d’oeuvre de plastique, ou la lumière est traitée avec une habileté prodigieuse; aucun artiste peintre, parmi les plus grands, n’aurait pu réaliser une oeuvre d’une plus parfaite beauté que celle-ci obtenue a l’aide de la camera. / Edward Weston a obtenu de nombreuses récompenses; il est membre de la Royal Photographie Society.”
The following four Weston photographs are illustrated: [Miriam Lerner; buttocks and back] (Conger 168/1925); Three Fish Gourds (Conger 196/1926); Rag Doll and Sombrerito (Conger 188/1925); and Two Swan Gourds (Conger 152/1924).

17 “American Nature Photos,” Transition: An International Quarterly for Creative Experiment 19–20, June 1930, n.p. [pictorial section between pp. 248–249]. [3 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

18 “Three Photographers: Brassai—Man Ray—Edward Weston,” Transition: A Quarterly Review 26, 1937, n.p. [27–34]. [1 Weston illustration]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

19 Weston’s four solo French exhibitions all occurred in Paris; they are: Exposition de Photographies de Edward Weston, Galerie Jean Naert, 5–31 December 1931; Daniel Masclet présente Edward Weston, Galerie d’Art Kodak-Pathé [Organized by Daniel Masclet and Group XV], 23 January–15 February 1950; Une Exposition D’Oeuvres du Photographe Edward Weston, American Embassy Annex [Organized by the Services Américains d’Information Paris], 20 February–3 March 1950; and [original photographs by Edward Weston], Club Photographique de Paris, about late May or early June 1954.

20 [Exhibition Announcement] Galerie Jean Naert, Exposition de Photographies de Edward Weston, Galerie Jean Naert: Paris, France, December 1931.
(Edward Weston Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona; Scrapbook A)

21 “News in Brief,” The Carmelite, 12 November 1931, 7.

22 The Galerie d’Art Kodak-Pathé (37 Place Vendôme) exhibition, organized by Daniel Masclet and Group XV, ran from 23 January–15 February 1950 and then transferred to the American Embassy Annex in Paris from 20 February–3 March 1950. Although the Galerie Kodak and American Embassy exhibits were virtually the same, according to contemporary descriptions, Galerie Kodak exhibited 125 photographs (identified by a handwritten checklist prepared by Weston) while the subsequent Embassy exhibition had only 122. However, a correlation of photographs listed on Weston’s own checklist, the Embassy exhibition checklist, and specific photographs known to have been exhibited in one or the other of the Paris exhibitions amounts to 132 possible Kodak exhibition entries.

23 Photograph of window display for Weston exhibition at Galerie d’Art Kodak-Pathé, Paris, 1950. (Edward Weston Archive, Center for Creative Photography, Exhibition Box 35)

24 [Services Américains d’Information Paris], Une Exposition D’Oeuvres du Photographe Edward Weston, Paris: L’Ambassade Americaine, 1950. [122 exhibition checklist entries]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

25 The articles referred to are: Dominique Merry, “Un grand événement photographique: Edward Weston exposera a Paris,” Photo-Revue: journal des amateurs et des photographes [Paris] 62:1, January 1950, XXVI.; Robert Coiplet, “Un Artiste Américain Révélé aux Francais: Les Photographies de M. Edward Weston,” Le Monde [Paris], 27 January 1950, 7.; R.M.U., “Edward Weston,” Arts Littérature Spectacles [Paris], 27 January 1950, 4.; Beaumont Newhall, (French translation by Dominique Merry), “Edward Weston, le Maître,” Photo-Revue: journal des amateurs et des photographes [Paris] 62:2, February 1950, 26–32. [7 Illustrations]; G.M., “A La Galerie Kodak: Edward Weston Photographie comme d’autres peignent,” La Variétés [La Vérité?] [Paris], 1 February 1950, 6.; and Daniel Masclet, “L’Exposition Edward Weston,” Kodéco périodique du personnel Kodak-Pathé 2:2, April 1950, 8–12. [5 Illustrations]

26 Daniel Masclet, “L’Art d’Edward Weston,” Photo Cinéma: Technique Art Documentation 30:580, February 1950, Cover, frontispiece/Contents, 28–32. [9 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
The nine photographs illustrated are: Cover: Detail of Juniper, Lake Tenaya (Conger 1087/1937); Frontispiece/Contents page: Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Fry, Burnet, Texas (Conger 1577/1941); p. 28: Carmelita Maracci (Conger 1172/1937); p 29: Church Door, Hornitos (Conger 1505/1940); p. 30: Lettuce Ranch, Salinas Valley (Conger 805/1934); p. 31: Grass Against Sea, Big Sur (Conger 1035/1937); p. 32: Detail of Maudelle Weston (Conger 1475/1939); p. 32: Charis (Conger 851/1934); and p. 41 within a separate article titled “Influence de la température de couleurs”: Clouds, Panamints, Death Valley (Conger 1329/1938).

27 Two-page, signed and dated handwritten letter on Wildcat Hill letterhead, 21 March 1950.
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)

28 Dody Warren, “Edward Weston: 50 ans à la recherche de l’objectivité,” Part I, Photo-Monde 4:29, October 1953, Cover, 13–20. [7 Illustrations] and “Edward Weston: 50 ans à la recherche de l’objectivité,” Part II, Photo-Monde 4:30, November/December 1953, 42–47. [5 Illustrations]
(Collection of Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.)
Warren’s second installment in the November/December issue is composed entirely of quotes from Weston’s Daybooks.

29 Fritz Neugass, “Un grand photographe n’est plus: Edward Weston (1886–1958),” Le Photographe: Revue des professionnels et du commerce photo-cinéma 48:910, 20 April 1958, Cover, 223–226. [4 Illustrations]
(Microfilm, New York Public Library)

3 thoughts on “20 January 2020: Edward Weston, A Photographer “with an international reputation,” 1913–1958; PART 1 of 2

  1. Fascinating to see Weston through his international impact, and how appreciated he was considering the great struggle he had at a time when photography was only considered an art by a very few. Thanks and looking forward to next month.

    Liked by 1 person

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