Edward Weston archive
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.
Please scroll down and click on the linked "External Document" to view a partial negative list created by CCP staff as part of a 2001-2004 NEA Funded Preservation Grant. Please note that not all of Weston's negatives are included on this list.
- Weston, Edward, 1886-1958 (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
To access materials from this collection, please contact CCP-RefDesk@email.arizona.edu
Please note: the negatives in boxes 80-97, 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 transferred to the new frozen storage space. The estimated date of availability is mid-year of 2023, 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 CCPfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.
75 Linear Feet
Metadata Rights Declarations
- License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.
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.
Series 1: Correspondence
- Subseries 1: Incoming Correspondence, 1915-1958
- Subseries 2: Family Correspondence, 1902-1957
- Subseries 3: Outgoing Correspondence, 1919-1950s
- Subseries 4: Photographs enclosed in correspondence
Series 2: Biographic Materials, Writings, and Scrapbooks
- Subseries 1: Weston Family Papers
- Subseries 2: General Biographic Materials
- Subseries 3: Writings by Edward Weston
- Subseries 4: Writings about Weston
- Subseries 5: Collected Quotes and Writing Fragments by Weston
- Subseries 6: Scrapbooks
- Subseries 7: Portraits of Weston
Series 3: Activity Files
- Subseries 1: Publications, 1932-1973
- Subseries 2: Motion Pictures, 1948-1957
- Subseries 3: Exhibitions, 1927-1971
- Subseries 4: Photography Business, circa 1930s-1950s
- Subseries 5: Negative Ledgers
- Subseries 6: Organizations, 1930s-1950s
- Subseries 7: Miscellaneous, undated
Series 4: Financial Records
- Subseries 1: Receipts
- Subseries 2: Utilities
- Subseries 3: Automobile
- Subseries 4: Groceries
- Subseries 5: Charis Wilson Weston
- Subseries 6: Business Records
- Subseries 7: Taxes
- Subseries 8: Estate of Edward Weston
- Subseries 9: Ledgers
- Subseries 10: Banking
Series 5: Artifacts
Series 6: Daybooks, circa 1920s-1944
Series 7: Oversize Materials, undated
Series 8: Photographic Materials
- Subseries 1: Fine Prints (Master Prints)
- Subseries 2: Photographic Ephemera
- Subseries 3: Negatives and Transparencies
- Subseries 4: Proof and Research Prints
The Weston archive arrived at the Center in 1981.
The collection was re-processed by Jewel Cummins under the direction of Alexis Peregoy in 2022.
- Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984
- Commercial photography Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Fashion photography Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Landscape photography -- West (U.S.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Mather, Margrethe, 1885 or 1886-1952
- Modotti, Tina, 1896-1942
- Photography--Mexico. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Portrait photography -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Van Dyke, Willard (1906-1986)
- Weston, Brett (1911-12-16 - 1993-01-22)
- Wilson, Charis (1914.05.05-2009.11.20)
- Guggenheim Fellowship Project (Organization)
- Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.). Department of Film (Organization)
- Group f.64 (Organization)
- Edward Weston archive
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding guide is in English
Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository
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