Oct 3, 2007

Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast


Edward Weston

(American, 1886–1958)

Vintage gelatin silver print

Image: 19.7 x 21.6 cm (7 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)

Bequest of Nancy R. Ranney 1988.145



In April 1939 Weston explored the coast of Oregon during a trip made possible by a Guggenheim fellowship. Accompanied by his assistant Charis Wilson, who he married later that month, Weston set out to continue what he called his "epic series of the West," begun about 1929. Committed to a purity of vision and precision in technique, he could convey the vastness of a seascape and the intricacies of a seashell with equal elegance and honesty. In their journal, Wilson described the spot where they had lunch on April 16—"a log-piled beach by a sandbar-closed lagoon"—which Weston recorded with his camera aimed toward the western horizon. The strong contrast of darkened boulders and silvery sea is heightened by the varied textures and tones of the wet sand, jumbled driftwood, and stony beach in the foreground. Weston's straightforward approach exemplifies a major direction of 20th century photography and his work has remained a powerful influence on subsequent generations.

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