NWC News Desk

Documentary shown Nov. 9 at NWC looks at one of America's pioneers in photography

Posted October 26, 2007

P O W E L L, W y o. - Northwest College's Rosebud Film Group and Photo Department invite the public to a showing of the 2006 documentary "Eloquent Nude," at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in Room 70 of the Fagerberg Building. Admission is free.

"Eloquent Nude" retraces the life and works of American photographer Edward Weston, considered one of the key pioneers of modern photography, in the same circle as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and Dorethea Lange.

Weston's life (1886-1958) and works are given perspective in the documentary through interviews with his creative collaborator and wife of 11 years, Charis Wilson. At age 91, Wilson was joined by leading scholars to recount "a story of love and collaboration, of travel and adventure, of creative expression and an inside look at the making of modern American photography."

Weston received the first Guggenheim Grant awarded to a photographer. He used the grant money to set off with a camera and typewriter across the American West during the depths of the Great Depression. Weston created more than 1,500 original images on the trip, and Wilson produced a 300-page journal of their adventures.

In addition to his artistic contemplation of one of America's most challenging times, Weston is also known for his nudes, including "Nude in Doorway," featuring Wilson, and a string of photos known collectively as "the sand dune series."

By the end of World War II, the pioneering photographer had achieved international recognition and was honored at the Museum of Modern Art in New York with its largest solo retrospective show ever given a photographer.

Weston and Wilson were divorced by that time, but she is widely recognized as a major inspiration in his work. Even though their marriage lasted little more than a decade, it's considered one of the "great creative marriages of the 20th century" by many in the art and photography worlds.