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Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958), Portrait of a Woman, gelatin silver print, ca. 1930s, signed

Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958), Portrait of a Woman, gelatin silver print, ca. 1930s, signed

Item Description:

Signed in pen on mount lower right "Edward Weston - Carmel", bearing the Weston Studio label on reverse, no. 13, unframed


Appears fine. Please contact for specific condition questions. Not examined out of the frame. Lofty does not guarantee the condition or authenticity of frames.


Private Collection, West Coast



Height 9 9/16 in.

Width 7 3/16 in.

About The Artist:

Edward Weston was perhaps one of the most well-known and influential photographers of the 20th century. His mature style is characterized by intimate compositions of sharply focused natural forms, including landscapes and nudes.

Weston was born in 1886 in Highland Park, Illinois. He attended the Oakland Grammar School in Chicago, but as an autodidact, he was little interested in formal education. He received his first camera, a Bull's Eye #2, when he was 16 as a gift from his father and he began photographing Chicago and his aunt's Midwestern farm. By the age of 20, his first photograph was published in Camera and Darkroom, an American photography magazine. Weston moved to Los Angeles, California and worked as a land surveyor for a brief time before attempting to become an itinerant photographer. Weston realized that he needed training and returned to Illinois to attend a course at the Illinois College of Photography in Effington. Returning to Los Angeles with this new training, Weston worked for a commercial portrait studio before establishing his own in Tropico, California in 1911. Weston worked for the next twenty years in a conservative Pictorialist style, which won him awards and recognition. Pictorialism was a photographic movement of the early 20th century that strived to imitate painting in order to elevate photography as a fine art form. Images were manipulated in the dark room for dramatic effects to emphasize the photographer's role as an artist and craftsman.

By the 1920s, Weston tired of the Pictorialist style and searched for new subjects. In 1922, Weston met Alfred Stieglitz, a modern photographer and gallery owner in New York City. That same year, during a visit to his sister in Ohio, Weston photographed the Armco Steel Mill in Middletown, a modernized industrial form. Weston's new style had become sharply focused in order to capture as many details as possible. Weston followed this new realization with a three year sojourn to Mexico where he photographed studies of nudes and portraiture in the realist style. He started to focus on formal design elements and the quiet eroticism of forms found in everyday objects.

Back in California in 1926, Weston continued in this vein of art photography. Inspired by artist Henrietta Shore's shell collection, Weston created a series of close ups of nautilus shells. This series, as well as his photographs of nudes, vegetables, and rocks, explore the beauty of form found in these natural objects without context or references to the object's true scale. Later in his career, Weston would expand his subjects to include landscapes.

In 1932, Weston became one of the founding members of the photographers group called Group f/64. The group, which came to include Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham, promoted the break with Pictorialism and sought for the acceptance of photography as both an art medium and a way to record life. In 1937, Weston received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the first to be given to a photographer. In 1946, the Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited a major retrospective of Weston's work before the photographer began his long battle with Parkinson's disease. In 1948, Weston took his last photograph and was thereafter helped by his sons with printing projects. In 1956, the Smithsonian Institution held ''The World of Edward Weston'', a tribute exhibition before his death in 1958.

Taken in his mature style, this portrait of a woman by Weston may be from a series of portraits he took from the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s. Unlike the rest of his oeuvre, these portraits were unabstracted and the models were not meant to be representative of a generalized group or type of people, but had their own specific identities. This series is noted for their remarkable clarity and Weston's use of his own family members for several of the photographs. This young woman with soulful, dark eyes, may have been a friend or family member Weston knew from Carmel, California, where he had settled permanently in 1929.


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SKU: 01tj0000002eYegAAE

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Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958), Portrait of a Woman, gelatin silver print, ca. 1930s, signed

Listed price: $1,800.00

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