Art Exhibit News
Prestigious Fort Worth museum scores prized photo collection
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art has acquired a cache of 46 photographs by Brett Weston (1911-1993), one of the most acclaimed American photographers of the 20th century.
The acquisition is a generous gift from the Christian Keesee Collection that enables the Amon Carter to amplify its current holdings of Weston’s photographic strength — vivid, graphically driven abstraction — and add key works from other parts of Weston’s career, including his early San Francisco street views, his wartime work in New York, and his heralded late-career Hawaiian plant studies.
"The acquisition helps us better communicate Brett Weston’s artistic achievements, especially his diverse exploration of graphic form," says John Rohrbach, senior curator of photographs, in a release.
Weston was one of four sons of the great photographer Edward Weston, who followed in his father's footsteps as an artist-photographer. He was the one who most wholly embraced that path and gained the most renown for his art, thanks in part to his father’s extensive encouragement.
"Brett Weston's artistic legacy has been entwined with the Amon Carter since our early days," says the museum's director, Andrew J. Walker. "The museum’s first director, Mitchell Wilder, corresponded with him in the 1960s as several of his father’s works entered the collection, followed by the exhibition 'Photographs of Edward Weston' in 1965. In 1966, Wilder curated 'Brett Weston: Photographs,' an exhibition of 100 works."
The main core of the gift includes Weston’s abstract photographs created between 1960 and 1971, the period for which the artist is best known today. During these years, under the influence of Abstract Expressionism and his friend Ansel Adams’ successful embrace of increased contrast, Weston heightened the contrast of his photographs and drew attention to the world’s engaging patterns.
Just as important are key examples from other parts of his career, such as his work from the 1930s when he was living in San Francisco and trying to differentiate himself from his father by taking up urban themes.
"Focal Points: New to the Photography Collection," an exhibit at the Amon Carter that is on view through January 18, reveals how artists have mutually embraced and questioned the nation’s enduring ideal of a land of opportunity.
Included in this exhibition is one of the works from the acquisition, Weston's photograph Wire and Glass (1974). Amon Carter visitors will have another opportunity to view Weston’s work in the fall of 2016 in an exhibition featuring photographs from the collection.
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