I was finally able to get out there. The lighting was pretty dim, but it was great finally getting to see some of EW prints.
All the prints were made within a year or two of the negative, so there were all made by Edward, and you are able to see his evolving vision (for final prints).
There were a few suprised for me, which makes me glad that I went.
-many of the prints I have not seen before. Anyone who has seen his work in the handful of books has seen only a small bit of his photos.
-His 4x5 nude and portrait contact prints were much nicer than they appear in the books, and are very viable for display on a wall.
-because of the short scale of the printing process, much of the dark tones are discarded in the book printing process. His prints are a much longer range and more 'colorful', the blacks hold detail.
-bookmakers shoot for a homegeniety in the print values (and adjust accordingly). EW's prints would often show a wildly different range, many much lighter or heavier than they appear in books.
-I particularily liked the few desert images that were on display. They were unbelievably beutiful.
-It was fun seeing little 'mistakes' in the images, focus problems at the edge of the image and the like. There is a trade-off between perfection and getting a photo (of anything).
I am starting to think that viewing prints instead of reproductions is important for any starting photographer.