Saw an Edward Weston Exhibit Yesterday

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by jmooney, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    Yesterday my wife and I went to the Michner Museum in Doylestown, PA to see the exhibit of Edward Weston's work.

    I was blown away, it was truly a stirring experience.

    Weston is one of if not my favorite photographers and I've read extensively on him and looked at many books of his work but seeing the work in person was simply amazing.

    I have to admit that even though I've been in photography for quite a long time this was the first exhibit I've seen. For various reasons I've never gotten to one before and I figured that without extensive travel I'd probably never get to see any of Weston's work up close so I jumped at the chance to see this exhibit. It was better than I could have imagined. Getting your nose 6 inches from Pepper #30, Escusado, the Nautilus shells, etc. is an experience that everyone who admires his work should have.

    Not to mention the unique feeling of knowing that what you are looking at is the image as he intended, on a sheet of photographic paper that he held in his hands, and worked himself.

    If anyone is in the area, I highly recommend taking it in, especially if you are an admirer of his work. I also recommend to anyone, if you can see the work of those whose photography moves you and you truly enjoy, go and do it. You won't regret it. I know this may seem obvious to a lot of you but it's just something I did not have the opportunity to do until now and I know I will be making much more of an effort to see work in person from now on.
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    He affects me like that as well. I have seen a few of his exhibits, one in the Oakland Ca Museum when I was just beginning photography that shaped me forever. I visited the Cleveland Museum once and found an EW print on permanent display that he had shot in a cemetery I think in New Orleans. I was so stunned with the print quality that I went back 4 days in a row and stood there staring at it.
    Dennis
     
  3. Morry Katz

    Morry Katz Member

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    There's nothing like the real thing.

    Morry Katz - Lethbridge, Alberta
     
  4. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Hi there,

    Glad that you got to see an insirational exhibition.

    A question: as you sound like you knew his work well in print e.g. magazines, books etc how different are the original prints to the reproductions?
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Chances are, it was a contact print. The print was in contact with the negative that he shot and possibly processed. There is a physical connection with the Weston image that isn't possible with digital. I really don't know if that makes a difference or not.
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    The prints are more subtle than the reproductions, ie lower contrast.

    Jon
     
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  7. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Weston is my favourite photographer as well. I have never seen a real Edward Weston print in the flesh and I hope I get to see one before I depart this earth. I do have the Lodima Weston book which is suppose to be the next best thing and I must say it is outstanding.
     
  8. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Eric an awful lot of museums have EW in the permanent collections and might be willing to drag them out for personal viewing if you give them a day or two. I know they have them here in Portland
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Was the show lit well? The last Brett Weston show at the Phillips Collection had some beautiful prints which were lit quite poorly and the viewing suffered accordingly.
     
  10. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I promise you that it makes quite a difference.
     
  11. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Yes, the Edward Weston prints are outstanding indeed. To see other outstanding prints, come visit our (our is Paula Chamlee and myself) studio during the Elephants Eye Tour in Bucks County--just 12 miles north of the Michener Museum. See www.elephantseyetour.org

    Michael A. Smith
     
  12. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I recently purchased from Freestyle, "The Daybooks of Edward Weston," published by Aperture.

    Just getting into reading it and I find his thoughts very candid, just like reading a journal.
     
  13. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    When I lived in Tucson and was a member of the Center for Creative Photography at the U of A, one could request a private viewing of the many photographers that are archived there. During the three years I lived there I requested about a dozen private viewings, an overwhelming experience I will never forget. They have a large collection of Adams and Weston, among many others. They also have one of the largest collections of books on photography I have ever encountered in their Photo Library in the Center, probably one of the largest in the US. I spent many, many hours there. If you're ever in Tucson, be sure to check it out. They also have a top notch exhibition year around.
     
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  15. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I saw the exhibit 3 times in Akron. A moving experience on each occasion.
     
  16. Macwax

    Macwax Member

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    I saw the Weston exhibit at the Michener Museum last month. It's wonderful. If you're interested, it closes at the end of March. Doylestown, PA is convenient to Philadelphia, Wilmington, New Jersey and New York and has other attractions of interest including the Mercer Museum and Fonthill.

    Someone asked a question about the lighting and I must say that I found it rather dimly lit which I assume was done to help preserve the images. All of the images were from a single collection.

    John
     
  17. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    I saw an Edward Weston's exhibithion some years ago here in Italy, an astonish exhibithion, fantastic prints,well lighting, for me a new incredible experience, because after that I opened my mind, changing my photographic method completely.

    Stefano
     
  18. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I too was smitten when I first saw an Edward Weston original back in 1976 in 'The Land', exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum, London.

    London is long over due for a major EW exhibition.
     
  19. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I saw and enjoyed the exhibit at Doylestown a few weeks back and intend to go back before it ends. I got there somewhat late in the day and ran short of time. Part of the time went to viewing a video they had running on Weston's life and activities that was quite interesting in itself. I want to go back with the whole day available so I can stand and stare as long as I want! It's definitely awesome work.
     
  20. david James lee

    david James lee Member

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    about two years ago, i was reading an article about Weston in the paper and a co worker that was with me commented that he had one of his photographs once. long story short, once,he was asked by his sister to pick up a box with stuff that belonged to his father,and back at home,looking though the things with his wife, a black and white photograph of a palm tree came out. his wife decided to hang it by the bar, and a few weeks or months later,i don't remember that part, a friend came home and asked about the photograph and asked them if she could show it to a friend. they said yes. then they got a call asking them if they could take the photograph to new york. they said yes. then he got a call from new york, from one of the auction houses, informing him that it was a Weston, of course, and that they had a very interested buyer and if they wanted to sell it. they said yes again,this time with a big smile in their faces.
    turns out that Edward Weston gave the photograph to his grandfather who used to live in Cuernavaca,where the photograph was made. he and his wife didn't had any idea who Edward Weston was.
     
  21. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    It's hard to describe other than they are stunning. There is a 3 dimensional quality to them and the tonality is really amazing to see in person.

    I'll make the disclaimer that I'm not an unbiased source though since I'm such a admirer of his work.
     
  22. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    It makes a very big difference to me. To know that he held that paper in the developer, watched the image come up, and declared it good...it adds a real element to the whole experience. I couldn't really name it but it was there, I felt it.
     
  23. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    I actually have the Lodima book sitting in my living room. I borrowed it from the library at work but I've purposely avoided looking at it until I saw the exhibit. From what I've heard though it's as close to the real thing as you can get.
     
  24. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    Reading the Daybooks before seeing the work really helps you to gain more when viewing the prints as you'll have read his thoughts and feelings when he made the images and that's a really rare thing. We often discuss technical details of images but the raw thought and feeling often stay locked up in us or morph into art-speak in an artist statement.

    One of things that really gave my wife a new appreciation for some of the images like the peppers and swiss chard was when I told her that he wrote of not having a lot of time to work with some of these subjects that moved him so much because they were starting to turn a bit and they needed to eat them. They sustained him both artistically and physically. Having these insights really allow you to appreciate the work more fully.
     
  25. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    I love stories like that. I surprised they don't happen more, especially with Weston because he ran a "Print of the Month Club" and you could get a print every month for $5. At the time that was a lot more money than it is now of course, but to think of paying $5 for a Pepper #30 is really mind boggling.
     
  26. stuartwalker

    stuartwalker Member

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    I saw Viva Mexico: Edward Weston and His Contemporaries show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Herb Ritts Gallery in the fall of 2009. The 35 Weston prints on show were part of the Lane Collection, on long term loan to MFA, and also featured work by his young son Brett, Tina Modotti, Paul Strand, Alvarez Bravo et al. Weston's print of Diego Rivera in a black sombrero was just out of this world. To try to comprehend that he printed this work with extremely minimalist equipment - 3 print trays, a contact print frame and a light bulb (I have been in his old darkroom near Point Lobos) just informs us how much a master photographer he really was.

    If you ever get the chance to see one of his shows - you will learn so much.

    Cannot recommend highly enough....

    Stuart