Master of light and shadow
Weston can make even a pepper look beautiful
Edward Weston once said, "There is no substitute for amazement felt, significance realized at the time of exposure." This collection of his work demonstrates that sense of awe again and again. "Edward Weston: A Legacy" illustrates the path of his discovery and the hardships required to create art and a forum for viewing it.
Both the seasoned fan and the newcomer will discover Weston's world through illuminating essays on his life that provide a glimpse into his sometimes bohemian lifestyle.
Writers Susan Danly, Jonathan Spaulding, and Jessica Todd Smith describe his Spartan existence in California and Mexico with Charis Wilson, his wife, as well as with fellow photographer Ansel Adams, whom Weston admired. Smith, curator of photographs at the Huntington Library, details Weston's struggles to get a book of nudes published at the end of his career. "Legacy" contains more than 250 beautiful, black and white, full-page photographs of landscapes, still lifes, and other projects.
A selection from the collection he gave to the Huntington Library comprises a large portion of the images. There are sexy rounds of peppers and undulating sand expanses, as well as more obscure images. All of them demonstrate Weston's eye for light and shadow and his master black-and-white printing techniques.
• Rebecca Swiller is a photo imaging specialist on the Monitor staff.