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Brett Weston’s Untitled (Joshua Trees, Desert Landscape), 1942, one of the works gifted from the Christian Keesee Collection. Photo: the San Antonio Museum of Art.

San Antonio Museum of Art Receives Donation of Fifty Brett Weston Photographs

The San Antonio Museum of Art has been gifted fifty works by the late American photographer Brett Weston. Philanthropist Christian Keesee, who founded the Brett Weston Archive after amassing the most complete collection of the artist’s work from the Brett Weston Estate in 1996, donated the works, which include landscapes of Texas, California, Hawaii, and Mexico. Dating from 1940 to 1985, the photographs represent the artist’s interest in formalism and abstraction.

“I enjoyed working closely with the Brett Weston Archive to select a beautiful group of Weston’s photographs,” said Suzanne Weaver, the museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art. “This generous gift enriches our holdings of over 1,500 photographs, which are primarily photojournalist, documentary, and street photography, by representing one of the most important themes—landscape—in American photographic practices since the nineteenth century.”

Born in Los Angeles in 1911, Weston was the second son of photographer Edward Weston. When he was thirteen, Brett traveled with his father to Mexico, where he was introduced to the work of artists such as Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera. When he was seventeen, his photographs were included in the groundbreaking show “Film und Foto” (1929) in Stuttgart, Germany. Over the course of his seventy-year career, the artist would travel extensively to take photographs in South America, Europe, Japan, and Alaska. For a while, he had a studio and portrait business in Los Angeles, and he also owned two homes in Hawaii, which he frequently visited. Commenting on the time he spent there, Weston said, “l have found in this environment, everything I could want to interpret about the world photographically.”

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