The Westons
Edward Weston

 

Edward Weston Biography
Edward Henry Weston was born March 24, 1886, in Highland Park, Illinois.  He spent the majority of his childhood in Chicago where he attended Oakland Grammar School. He began photographing at the age of sixteen after receiving a Bull’s Eye #2 camera from his father. Weston’s first photographs captured the parks of Chicago and his aunt’s farm. In 1906, following the publication of his first photograph in Camera and Darkroom, Weston moved to California. After working briefly as a surveyor for San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, he began working as an itinerant photographer. He peddled his wares door to door photographing children, pets and funerals. Realizing the need for formal training, in 1908 Weston returned east and attended the Illinois College of Photography in Effingham, Illinois. He completed the 12-month course in six months and returned to California. In Los Angeles, he was employed as a retoucher at the George Steckel Portrait Studio. In 1909, Weston moved on to the Louis A. Mojoiner Portrait Studio as a photographer and demonstrated outstanding abilities with lighting and posing.) Weston married his first wife, Flora Chandler in 1909. He had four children with Flora; Edward Chandler (1910), Theodore Brett (1911), Laurence Neil (1916) and Cole (1919). In 1911, Weston opened his own portrait studio in Tropico, California. This would be his base of operation for the next two decades. Weston became successful working in soft-focus, pictorial style; winning many salons and professional awards. Weston gained an international reputation for his high key portraits and modern dance studies. Articles about his work were published in magazines such as American Photography, Photo Era and Photo Miniature. Weston also authored many articles himself for many of these publications. In 1912, Weston met photographer Margrethe Mather in his Tropico studio. Mather becomes his studio assistant and most frequent model for the next decade. Mather had a very strong influence on Weston. He would later call her, “the first important woman in my life.” Weston began keeping journals in 1915 that came to be known as his "Daybooks." They would chronicle his life and photographic development into the 1930’s.

In 1922 Weston visited the ARMCO Steel Plant in Middletown, Ohio. The photographs taken here marked a turning point in Weston’s career. During this period, Weston renounced his Pictorialism style with a new emphasis on abstract form and sharper resolution of detail. The industrial photographs were true straight images: unpretentious, and true to reality. Weston later wrote, “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.” Weston also traveled to New York City this same year, where he met Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Charles Sheeler and Georgia O’Keeffe.

In 1923 Weston moved to Mexico City where he opened a photographic studio with his apprentice and lover Tina Modotti. Many important portraits and nudes were taken during his time in Mexico. It was also here that famous artists; Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and Jose Orozco hailed Weston as the master of 20th century art.

Brett WestonCara Weston    
     
   
     

Cara Weston Biography
Cara was the director of the Weston Gallery in Carmel, California for many years. While there she curated numerous shows including memorable exhibitions of photographers Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna, and Edward, Cole and Brett Weston. In addition to the gallery exhibitions she also curated several art shows in Los Angeles and New York, which featured the work of many fine art photographers.

Working at the Weston Gallery gave Cara the rewarding opportunity to work with many talented artists,  private collectors, and museums. Currently, Cara is co-trustee for the Weston Family Trust, superintending the sale of legacy prints and overseeing the family website www.edward-weston.com.

Cara Weston was born and raised in Carmel, California, the daughter of photographer Cole Weston and Helen Prosser Weston, and granddaughter of renowned photographer Edward Weston and Flora Chandler Weston.
She has lived in a world of photography all her life. In the 1970s she worked for and with her father Cole Weston, and with her uncle, Brett Weston as an assistant, and modeled for his underwater photography. Cara also spent a short time assisting black and white photographer Rod Dresser.

Cara’s most personal and rewarding years have been raising her two daughters and being a mother. She strongly feels this is her greatest accomplishment in life and can’t imagine anything else ever being as rewarding.

It was initially difficult for Cara to photograph with the Weston name overshadowing her efforts, and as the only girl in a family that sometimes felt like a boy's club, but Cara eventually found her desire to capture images was stronger then worrying about living up to the family name. She photographs for herself now, and feels free to follow her own passion and way of seeing. Although she initially photographed using only black and white film, she has broken with family tradition and has embraced digital photography. Her work is represented by the Susan Spiritus Gallery.

Cara also worked in the medium of stained glass for many years. She inherited another Weston family passion, sailing, which she did extensively, making trips to Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Channel Islands and Baja, Mexico. Her most memorable trip was sailing from Hawaii to Monterey, a trip that lasted 27 days at sea.  Currently, Cara lives on the magnificent Big Sur Coast in California, one of the most beautiful places on earth. She now photographs and travels when she can pull herself away from her mountaintop home and garden. Cara Weston serves on MAGNUM, the National Migraine Association’s Board of Directors as Director of Exhibits.

 

 

Brett Weston Biography
Brett Weston seemed destined from birth to become one of the greatest American photographers. Born in 1911 in Los Angeles, California, Weston was the second son of famous photographer Edward Weston.

At the age of 14, his father removed him from school where they then relocated to Edward Weston’s photographic studio in Mexico. It was in Mexico where Weston began making photographs with a Graflex 3 ¼ x 4 ¼ Camera. He became his father’s apprentice and was introduced to painters like Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco, and photographers such as Tina Modotti. These artists introduced the young Weston to modern art forms, which unquestionably influenced his early sense of form and composition. Under the astonished eye of his father, Weston began his legendary technical precision, bold design and extreme abstractions of form. His father once observed that Weston was doing better work at the age 14 then he had done at the age of 30 years old. According to the curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Van Deren Coke, “Brett Weston was the child genius of American photography.”

Weston returned to California in 1926 and continued to assist his father in his Glendale portrait studio where he exhibited and sold his own photographs. His first prints were put on exhibit at UCLA in 1927. His first solo exhibition was held the same year at the Jake Zeitlin’s bookstore and gallery in Los Angeles. At the age of eighteen, Weston received critical attention after his work was displayed in the Film and Foto exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany among renowned photographers; Man Ray, Berenice Abbot, Paul Outerbridge, and his own father Edward Weston.

Weston worked as a sculptor and photographer for the Works Progress Administration in 1936 and worked as a cameraman for 20th Century Fox war films before being drafted in 1941. Two years earlier his portfolio of San Francisco images was published. While in the army Weston served under the command of ex-Farm Security Administration photographer Arthur Rothstein on Long Island. When on the off-duty, Weston began photographing the diverse forms and textures of the New York metropolis with large format 8’x10” and 11x14” view cameras. Later a portfolio of these images was published in 1951.

In 1946 after being discharged from the Army, Weston was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. At this time he chose to continue photographing the East Coast; however after completing this venture Weston moved to Carmel, California in order to pursue only fine art work. Weston was prolific in his photographs, but remained devoted to the quiet, solitary pursuit of his work and was very selective about what he exhibited during his life. In 1952, Weston again assisted his father, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, to print the Edward Weston 50th Anniversary Portfolio. Weston’s first book publication, Brett Weston Photographs, appeared in 1956.

Kim WestonCole Weston    
   
     
 

Kim Weston Biography
Kim has been a fine art nude photographer for over 30 years. He is a third-generation member of one of the most important and creative families in photography.

He learned his craft assisting his father Cole in the darkroom making gallery prints from his grandfather Edward’s original negatives. Kim also worked for many years as an assistant to his uncle Brett, whose bold, abstract photographs rank as some of the finest example.

Kim Weston’s first camera was a Rolleiflex, as he got older he photographed with a 4×5 Linhof ( a gift from his uncle Brett), then he switched to a 8×10 Calumet, and now uses an 8×10 Arca Swiss. Lately, Kim has been photographing with a medium format camera, a Mamiya 67 that he inherited from his father Cole Weston.

His main body of work consists of silver gelatin contact prints made from 6×7 (56mm x 69mm), 4×5 and 8×10 negatives. In addition to the 8×10 format he prints in 11×14 and 16×20 sizes. He also prints in Platinum and lately he has added paint to his photographs.

Kim and his wife, Gina, live at Wildcat Hill, the former home of Edward Weston where they specialize in teaching several unique photography workshops throughout the year. Kim is an educator and a mentor to young photographers. The Weston Scholarship Fund was established in 2004 to support high school and college students studying fine art photography in Monterey County.

 

Cole Weston Biography
Cole Weston, born on January 30, 1919 in Los Angeles, was the fourth and youngest son of famed 20th Century photographer, Edward Henry Weston. Cole received his first camera, a 4 by 5 Autograflex, from his brother Brett in 1935. Cole graduated with a degree in theater arts from the Cornish School in Seattle in 1937 and then served in the Navy during World War II as a welder and photographer. After his discharge from the Navy in 1945 Cole worked for Life Magazine. In 1946 he moved to Carmel to assist his father Edward. During this time Eastman Kodak started sending their new color film, Kodachrome, for Edward to try out. Cole took this opportunity to experiment with this new medium and eventually became one of the world’s great masters of fine art color photography.

In 1957 Cole began shooting his first color photographs of the magnificent Big Sur coast, Monterey Peninsula and central California. At this time he carried on his own portrait business while assisting his ailing father, who passed away in 1958. Edward had authorized Cole to print from Edward’s negatives after his death, so Cole continued printing Edward’s work while pursuing his own fine art photography.

In 1975 Cole began lecturing and conducting workshops on his father’s photography as well as his own. With his work in the theater arts Cole was a natural when it came to teaching and lecturing and his many students still comment on what a great workshop he gave. He traveled throughout the United States, England, Europe, Russia, Mexico, New Zealand and the South Pacific photographing and inspiring others with his characteristic enthusiasm and charm.

In 1988 after three decades devoted to printing his father’s work, Cole at last set aside his responsibility to Edward’s legacy and refocused on his own photography. Cole had his first solo exhibition in San Francisco in 1971. Since then, his work has been featured in more than sixty exhibitions worldwide and has been collected by museums throughout the United States and Europe. His work has been featured in numerous gallery shows and publications with three monographs and numerous articles having been published on his exquisite photography. Michael Hoffman from Aperture Publications once quoted, “In the history of photography there are but a few masters of color photography, Cole Weston is assuredly one of these masters of the medium whose dramatic powerful images are a source of great joy and pleasure”. Cole passed away from natural causes on April 20th, 2003.

Like Cole, who once carried on the legacy of his father’s photography, his children have decided, as a tribute to their father, to carry on printing and offer Trust prints of Cole’s fine color photographs. Cole Weston was a dedicated artist and master of fine photography. Hopefully the availability of modern prints will make it possible for photographic enthusiasts everywhere to continue to enjoy his life’s work.

     
     

10 TOWN PLAZA #148, DURANGO, CO 81301      970-382-8355by appointment only