Through Another Lens

Through Another Lens

My Years With Edward Weston

Book - 1998
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A Young woman sits naked in a doorway with her head bowed, worrying that the crooked part in her hair will ruin the photograph. The woman is Charis Wilson, it is 1936, and the man taking the picture is Edward Weston. Sixty years later, the photograph remains one of the best-known nude studies in the history of photography. Wilson was twenty-one and Weston forty-eight when they met, but the passionate twelve-year relationship between the famous photographer and the intellectual beauty was a true partnership. Wilson became not only the subject of some of Weston's best photographs but also his wife, working partner, and author of several acclaimed books that are illustrated with his work.A memoir long awaited in the arts community, Through Another Lens tells the story of the life Weston and Wilson led on the Big Sur coast from 1934 to 1946 amid a particularly American (and peculiarly Western) brand of artistic ferment among such figures as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Robinson Jeffers. The book features many unpublished family pictures as well as snapshots by Cunningham, Adams, Willard Van Dyke, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, and others; of course, Weston's own extraordinary photographs are here, too, some of which have rarely been seen outside private collections.
Publisher: New York : North Point Press, 1998.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780865475212
0865475210
Branch Call Number: 921 WILSON, CHARIS
Characteristics: xviii, 376 p., [48] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Madar, Wendy

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mikelindq Nov 06, 2013

A good complement to Weston's Daybooks and Beth Gates Warren's "Artful Lives." It's a highly personal memoir, written in the 1st person not by Wilson herself (whe was in her early 80s and overwhelmed by the project) but by a collaborator who used her personal friendship with Wilson in combination with Wilson's notes, letters, and memories as related in interviews to construct the memoir. As Wilson acknowledges, most of Weston's friends were from his generation, not hers (she was some 28 years younger than he), so she doesn't provide insight into his cronies' personalities or his earlier years the way he himself does in his Daybooks. Rather, the book is useful because of her background stories surrounding many of Weston's works from the Guggenheim-grant project (published as "California and the West," the text of which was actually written contemporaneously by Wilson), and also the cross-country trip in 1941 to make photographs to be published in a new edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Notable photos from that trip included the oil refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, the New Orleans cemeteries, and the primitivitist stonecutter/sculptor and the bottle-tree artist in the deep South. Another notable feature is the author's exposition of her own feelings surrounding the nudes for which she was the model - some of Weston's finest work in that genre. The book is a worthwhile addition to the study of both Weston the photographer and the man.

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