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Edward Weston

American Photographer

Edward Weston Photo

Born: March 24, 1886 - Highland Park, Illinois

Died: January 1, 1958 - Carmel, California

"The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh."

Edward Weston Signature

Summary of Edward Weston

From mild mid-western salesman to bohemian California artist, Edward Weston helped revolutionize photography so that it became an important component of modern art. His philandering ways got him into trouble in his personal life, but elevated him to new heights in his profession - helping him to forge artistic relationships with other modernists and inspiring his lifelong drive to capture the essence and beauty of everyday objects. Through his promotion of straight photography and his daybooks, in which he recorded his artistic growth, Weston helped cement photography's place as a legitimate modern artistic medium and influenced an entire generation of American photographers.

Key Ideas

By creating photographs that transformed his subjects into abstractions of shapes and patterns, Weston helped bring the medium out of the Victorian age that favored pictorialist imitations of painting and into the modern era wherein photography became a celebrated medium in its own right.
Similar to images used by the Surrealists, Weston's high resolution, realist photographs of organic forms and modern marvels encouraged viewers to reconsider seemingly mundane objects and form new associations with them.
Weston cofounded the f/64 Group, which promoted rather than disguised the characteristics of photography and, in so doing, transformed the photographer from printmaker to artist.
Edward Weston Photo

The son of an obstetrician and his pragmatic wife, Edward Henry Weston was born on March 24, 1886 in Highland Park, Illinois. Before his mother's death when Weston was five years old, she urged her son to pursue a practical profession as a businessman. It was Weston's father and sister Mary, nine years his senior, who soon recognized his artistic potential and encouraged him to consider photography. Mary, who was only thirteen at the time of their mother's passing, became the dominant motherly influence in Weston's life. Their father recalled: "they grew up with a double love - that of a mother and son and a sister and brother."

Most Important Art


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