Brett Weston and Bill Schwab in the Amon Carter Library
Recently visited the excellent library at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. Although the stacks are closed - no browsing - they will bring you any book they have, you just have to ask. So, I browsed their catalog listings and got a few random choices. Among them were two Brett Weston portfolio re-prints by Michael A. Smith's Lodima Press and Bill Scwab's Gathering Calm, from his own North Light Press.
These three books are just sterling! I am sure the other offerings in the Weston series are the same, and have no doubt that other North Light books are also just as good. I have a good, small collection of monographs, but I buy at the used book store. (Still waiting for these more expensive types to show up there - but I'm not holding my breath.) However, my usual experience is to buy a monograph, and look at it once or twice before it becomes one with the bookcase; except maybe for a reference now and again. So, visiting a library and viewing these wonderful books (for free) is almost as good.
Although living in North Texas for 24 years, and frequently visiting the Carter, I had not taken advantage of the library in the past. Now retired, I plan to make periodic visits just to sit in the library and be inspired.
Recommended: the library at the Amon Carter http://www.cartermuseum.org/library (catalog list is available on line!)
... and work from North Light Press and Lodima Press.
David, that sounds like a wonderful experience.
Have you had an opportunity to view original Brett Weston prints? Which of his portfolio books were available at the library?
Michael Smith does a very good job with the reproductions of Brett's work, certainly a serires worth collecting.
Yes, I have been fortunate to see Weston prints. His archive is just up the road in Oklahoma City, and in 2009, they mounted a show of 132 original prints. Also, I have been to the CCP in Tucson, and have seen prints of both Brett and his father there. I can't remember a specific, but I would not be surprised if I have seen prints from Edward for sure, and probably Brett, in various exhibits at the Carter over the years. They show a lot of work! Both are represented in the Amon Carter's collection.
I used to say that I would die happy if ever someone looked at one of my photographs and said that it looked like a Brett Weston. We amateurs all have our models/heroes.
One thing I learned from viewing so many Brett prints: shadow detail is over-rated. If it's black, let it go black in the print!
According to the Carter's online catalog, they have 8 of the portfolios:
Fifteen photographs of Japan
Several copies of the actual portfolios are in the Carter's print collection, although I hesitate to list them, since my copy of their print catalog is from 1993. It's not as easy to walk into their vaults as it is their library, however.
Thanks for the comments.
Last edited by David Brown; 07-15-2013 at 08:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Good morning David,
Originally Posted by David Brown
Wonderful to hear that you have had the opportunities to view original prints. Brett was correct in his oft-quoted statement that, "no one can print my negatives the way I can". Yes, those blacks are magnificent, a real master of negative space!
I'm guessing that you are referring to the Out of the Shadow exhibition of a few years ago. I had the opportunity to view it when it was in Santa Barbara, and participated in a panel discussion of Brett and his work on opening night. It truly was a marvelous exhibit, and very well received.
Thanks for writing. You are fortunate to have the Amon Carter nearby.
"Gathering Calm" is a beautifully printed book. I recently acquired my copy as a reward for contributing to Bill Schwab's kickstarter project.
Brett Weston's portfolio series from Lodima is stunning. I hope they are able to complete the series.
Don't have any good libraries in the area so I indulge myself all too frequently.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
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