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Edward Weston archive

 Collection
Identifier: AG 38

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Papers, 1870-1958, of Edward Weston (1886-1958), photographer. Includes correspondence, daybooks, financial records, memorabilia, documentation of his exhibitions, publications, Guggenheim project materials, and photographic materials, including 11,000 negatives. Of particular importance are letters from photographers such as Ansel Adams, Charles Sheeler, Brett Weston, Willard Van Dyke, and Tina Modotti. The collection also contains extensive scrapbooks of clippings and ephemera; writings by Weston; project print and negative indexes; and information about the two films on Weston made during his life.

Nearly all periods of Weston's life and work are represented in the archive. Little documentation exists, however, regarding his childhood (1886-1906), early years in California (1906-1923), or life after he was stricken with Parkinson's disease (1947-1958). The archive is particularly rich in documentation of his years in Mexico (1923-1926), and years after he returned to California (1927-1940s). It also contains significant examples of Weston's writing. Many of his letters to his sons are included, as are the original pages for his daybooks. These pages, amounting to 1,000 in number, range from undated fragments in an immature hand to clearly dated bold ink scrawls.

Other forms of primary research materials include order files for Weston's portrait business, insurance files for his camera equipment, receipts for supplies, invoices for the sale of photographs, and clipping files relating to publications and exhibitions.

Dates

  • 1870-1958

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact CCP-RefDesk@email.arizona.edu

Please note: the negatives in boxes 80-98, 105-115, and 130 are currently inaccessible due to renovations in CCP's cold storage facility. Negatives will be accessible once the renovation is complete and the negative boxes have been relocated to the new frozen storage space. The estimated date of availability is August 31, 2022 although not guaranteed. Please be sure to email CCP-RefDesk@email.arizona.edu with any questions or for updates.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to Edward Weston's photographs and writings is held by the Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents. Permission to reproduce or quote from material in the archive must be obtained from the Rights and Reproductions department. Please contact CCP-rrinfo@email.arizona.edu

Biographical Note

Edward Henry Weston (March 24, 1886 – January 1, 1958) was a 20th-century American photographer. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he bgan taking photographs in and around Chicago in 1902, with his first works exhibited in 1903. In 1906, Weston moved to California when he was 21 years old and opened a portrait studio.

In the 1930s, Weston and several other photographers formed the f/64 group. In 1937 Weston was the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, and over the next two years he produced nearly 1,400 negatives using his 8 × 10 view camera. Some of his most famous photographs were taken of the trees and rocks at Point Lobos, California, near where he lived for many years.

Over the course of forty years, Weston photographed an increasingly expansive set of subjects, including landscapes, still-lifes, nudes, portraits, genre scenes and even whimsical parodies. In 1947 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and he stopped photographing soon thereafter. He spent the remaining years of his life overseeing the printing of more than 1,000 of his most famous images.

Extent

75 Linear Feet

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Abstract

Nearly all periods of Weston's life and work are represented in the archive. Little documentation exists, however, regarding his childhood (1886-1906), early years in California (1906-1923), or life after he was stricken with Parkinson's disease (1947-1958). The archive is particularly rich in documentation of his years in Mexico (1923-1926), and years after he returned to California (1927-1940s). It also contains significant examples of Weston's writing. Many of his letters to his sons are included, as are the original pages for his daybooks. These pages, amounting to 1000 in number, range from undated fragments in an immature hand to clearly dated bold ink scrawls.

Arrangement

Series 1: Correspondence

  1. Subseries 1: Incoming Correspondence, 1915-1958
  2. Subseries 2: Family Correspondence, 1902-1957
  3. Subseries 3: Outgoing Correspondence, 1919-1950s
  4. Subseries 4: Photographs enclosed in correspondence

Series 2: Biographic Materials, Writings, and Scrapbooks

  1. Subseries 1: Weston Family Papers
  2. Subseries 2: General Biographic Materials
  3. Subseries 3: Writings by Edward Weston
  4. Subseries 4: Writings about Weston
  5. Subseries 5: Collected Quotes and Writing Fragments by Weston
  6. Subseries 6: Scrapbooks
  7. Subseries 7: Portraits of Weston

Series 3: Activity Files

  1. Subseries 1: Publications, 1932-1973
  2. Subseries 2: Motion Pictures, 1948-1957
  3. Subseries 3: Exhibitions, 1927-1971
  4. Subseries 4: Photography Business, circa 1930s-1950s
  5. Subseries 5: Negative Ledgers
  6. Subseries 6: Organizations, 1930s-1950s
  7. Subseries 7: Miscellaneous, undated

Series 4: Financial Records

  1. Subseries 1: Receipts
  2. Subseries 2: Utilities
  3. Subseries 3: Automobile
  4. Subseries 4: Groceries
  5. Subseries 5: Charis Wilson Weston
  6. Subseries 6: Business Records
  7. Subseries 7: Taxes
  8. Subseries 8: Estate of Edward Weston
  9. Subseries 9: Ledgers
  10. Subseries 10: Banking

Series 5: Artifacts

Series 6: Daybooks, circa 1920s-1944

Series 7: Oversize Materials, undated

Series 8: Photographic Materials

  1. Subseries 1: Fine Prints (Master Prints)
  2. Subseries 2: Photographic Ephemera
  3. Subseries 3: Negatives and Transparencies
  4. Subseries 4: Proof and Research Prints

Custodial History

The Weston archive arrived at the Center in 1981.

Related Materials

The Center's archive collections include other materials of interest to the Edward Weston researcher. For more complete information about any of the following collections, contact CCP-RefDesk@email.arizona.edu

Carolyn Caddes Collection (AG171) Includes research notes, interviews, correspondence, photographic materials, and biographical materials about the Weston family. Also included are a script of lecture and a draft of an essay on Flora Chandler Weston.

Johan Hagemeyer Archive (AG44): Contains extensive correspondence with Weston; diaries; publications and clippings, 1918-38.

Ansel Adams Archive (AG31): Contains extensive correspondence from Weston, 1931-56.

Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Papers (AG48): Contains extensive correspondence from Weston plus research notes, 1930-83.

Richard McGraw Archive (AG59): Contains correspondence from Weston, 1950-53

Sonya Noskowiak Archive (AG3): Contains papers and photographic materials documenting her career and friendship with Weston, 1928-71.

Christel Gang Papers (AG47): Contains correspondence from Weston, 1932-56.

William Holgers Collection (AG69) Contains clippings and photographs of Edward and Charis Weston, Ansel Adams and Weston.

Edward Weston Miscellaneous Acquisitions Collection (AG6): Contains small acquisitions from a variety of sources including Esther Compton and Betty Brandner. Includes correspondence, clippings, and snapshots.

Weston/Hagemeyer Collection (AG5) The bulk of the collection consists of letters from Weston to Hagemeyer between 1918 and 1938. There are also published and unpublished manuscripts, clippings, notes and brochures about Weston. Notable are manuscript fragments, sent as enclosures with letters, relating to Weston’s trip to New York City and visit with Alfred Stieglitz in 1922, and his trip to Mexico in 1923. Correspondents include Tina Modotti, Dorothea Lange, Margrethe Mather and others.

Bea Ullrich-Zuckerman Collection (AG75) Contains Bea Ullrich-Zuckerman’s (Bea Prendergast) recollections of time with Weston and Charis in Louisiana during Leaves of Grass Project; also includes photographs by Weston.

Processing Information

The collection was re-processed by Jewel Cummins under the direction of Alexis Peregoy in 2022.

Title
Edward Weston archive
Status
Completed
Date
2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding guide is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

Contact:
1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States