Edward Weston's Colleagues and Students

Although he was an independent spirit, Weston did not work in isolation. As influential on him as the locations where he photographed were the people with whom he associated while in a particular setting. His work grew in response to his relationships with others, and he, in turn, acted as a role model for a host of photographers working in the West. The photographs here are by a selection of Weston's close colleagues and students, among whom he was a collaborator, leader, mentor, and source of inspiration.

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Brett Weston / Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham
Weston and Cunningham met in 1920 and became friends, admiring one another's skill, trading prints, and discussing photography. Cunningham was, with Weston, a founding member of Group f/64, an association of West Coast photographers that promoted sharply focused, unmanipulated photography.

Brett Weston, 1923, by Imogen Cunningham
© The Imogen Cunningham Trust

Edward Weston / Mather

Margarethe Mather
Mather was the only photographer with whom Weston officially collaborated. The two met in 1913 and forged a relationship based on love and mutual inspiration, co-signing at least a dozen prints together. Mather introduced Weston to a circle of progressive artists in Los Angeles. Her innovative compositions laid the groundwork for Weston's explorations of unusual portraits and nude studies in the early 1920s.

Edward Weston, 1921, by Margrethe Mather

Hands on Tool / Modotti

Tina Modotti
Modotti and Weston met in 1921. She quickly became a favorite model and soon his lover. The two relocated to Mexico in 1923, where she learned the craft of photography from him.

See more images by Tina Modotti.

Hands Resting on Tool, 1927, by Tina Modotti

Ansel Adams
Adams was already an aspiring photographer when he met Weston in 1928. He said Weston's was the first work of serious quality he had ever seen. The two corresponded frequently and worked side by side on many occasions. Adams was also a founding member of Group f/64.

Point Lobos / White

Minor White
White met Weston during Weston's retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1946. The two became friends, and after moving to San Francisco later that year, White frequently visited Weston's Carmel studio, bringing his students along.

Point Lobos, California, from The Fourth Sequence, 1950, by Minor White
Reproduced with permission of the Minor White Archive, Princeton University Art Museum. Copyright © Trustees of Princeton University

Jack Rabbit / Sommer

Frederick Sommer
Sommer first met Weston in 1936. Weston's use of view cameras and his meticulous contact prints influenced the younger artist to begin using a large-format camera. Although Sommer lived in Arizona, the two photographers saw one another frequently between 1936 and the early 1940s.

See more images by Frederick Sommer.

Jack Rabbit, 1939, by Frederick Sommer
© Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation

Model T / Ross

Donald Ross
Ross attended the California School of Fine Arts in 1946, where he had contact with Minor White and Ansel Adams. He became a close friend of both Edward and Brett Weston, commonly working alongside them.

Model T, Aurora, Nevada, 1950, by Donald Ross
© Donald Ross

Kelp and Foam / B. Weston

Brett Weston
Born in Los Angeles as the second of Flora and Edward Weston's four sons, Brett Weston was raised among such artists in his father's circles as Margrethe Mather, Imogen Cunningham, and Tina Modotti. Like Edward, Brett Weston came to prefer tripod-mounted view cameras, carefully planned compositions, and meticulously wrought contact prints.

See more images by Brett Weston.

Kelp and Foam, 1953, by Brett Weston
© The Brett Weston Archive / Gift of Christian K. Keesee

Mission District, San Francisco / Piaskowski

Nata Piaskowski
Piaskowski settled in Carmel after escaping Nazi persecution in Poland in 1942. There she met Weston and engaged in the town's progressive artistic community. She moved to San Francisco in 1947 to study at the California School of Fine Arts, where she forged a close friendship with Minor White.

Mission District, San Francisco, 1949, by Nata Piaskowski

San Francisco / Noskowiak

Sonya Noskowiak
Noskowiak was Weston's student, assistant, model, and lover between 1929 and 1934. She was also a founding member of Group f/64, along with Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, and Weston.

San Francisco, 1930s, by Sonya Noskowiak
© Arthur Noskowiak