New Mexico (Off Highway 66-Near Gallup), 1933 (printed 1937)
Edward Weston (American, 1886 - 1958)
gelatin silver print, 7 1/2 x 9 3/8 in. (19.1 x 23.8 cm)
Gift of New Mexico Magazine, 1982
© 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
Edward Weston began taking photographs at age 16 when he was given a Kodak Bull's-Eye #2. After a brief stint as a railroad surveyor in California, he began working as an itinerant photographer, peddling his wares door to door photographing children, pets and funerals. Realizing the need for formal training, in 1908 he returned east and attended the Illinois College of Photography, completing the 12-month course in six months. Weston returned to California opening his own studio in 1911; this became his base of operation for the next two decades. A turning point in his career came in 1922 when Weston renounced his earlier soft-focus pictorial style with a new emphasis on abstract form and sharper resolution of detail and began the work for which he is most famous: natural forms, close-ups, nudes, and landscapes. His travels to New York City and Mexico City connected him with other significant artists of the era. Weston was a founding member of Group f/64, which advocated unmanipulated, sharp-focus photography.