Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Botanical, ca. 1975. Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 11 x 14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection.(c) The Brett Weston Archive.

Brett Weston, the 'Prodigy' Scion of Edward Weston

Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Water, 1970, Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 11 x 14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection. (c) The Brett Weston Archive.

Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Water Reflection, Logging, Alaska, 1973. Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 11 x 14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection. (c) The Brett Weston Archive.

Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Botanical, ca. 1985. Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 14 x 11 inches (35.56 x 27.94 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection. (c) The Brett Weston Archive.

 

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street
816-751-1278
The Photographs of Brett Weston
November 23, 2011-April 1, 2012

Over his long and prolific career, photographer Brett Weston (1911-1993) exemplified the modernist aesthetic. The son of famed photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958), Brett Weston was a “natural” with the camera. The Photographs of Brett Weston, presents a condensed survey of his career of about 40 prints. While rare works from the Museum’s Hallmark Photographic Collection are also included, this exhibition celebrates a gift of 260 Weston prints from Christian K. Keesee, owner of the Brett Weston Archive in Oklahoma City, and provides a study collection for students and researchers.

“This generous gift from the Brett Weston Archive exemplifies the deep interest in our program on the part of leading collectors and estates across the nation,” said Keith F. Davis, curator of photography. “There is also a wonderful symmetry here: this gift of Brett Weston’s work compliments one of the earliest photography gifts to the Museum, when Mr. and Mrs. Milton McGreevy donated 60 Weston prints.”

Brett Weston was one of photography’s greatest prodigies. After serving as his father’s apprentice, he achieved international recognition at the age of 17 through inclusion in a landmark exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany in 1929. He was still a teenager when he first received high-level, international recognition as a creative artist.

“Weston’s images are beautifully modulated, unmanipulated black-and-white prints,” said Davis. “He loved sharp lenses and precision cameras, and he applied this “purist” approach to a sustained exploration of the idea of abstraction.”

Weston always sought an energizing balance between fact and form, the objective reality of the world and the purely graphic logic of pictorial shape and structure. In exploring the graphic language of form, Weston aimed to suggest the deeper possibilities, and mysteries, of familiar things.

Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Broken Window, ca. 1970. Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 11 x 14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection. (c) The Brett Weston Archive.

Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Building, Ivy, Tree, Sutton Place, New York, 1945. Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.32 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection. (c) The Brett Weston Archive.

Brett Weston, American, 1911-1993. Lava, Hawaii, ca. 1985. Gelatin silver print. Unframed: 16 x 20 inches (40.64 x 50.8 cm). Gift from the Christian K. Keesee Collection. (c) The Brett Weston Archive.