Edward Weston: Life Work was published by Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee of Lodima Press in 2004. The occasion was a major exhibition of Edward Weston prints from the collection of Michael P. Mattis and Judith G. Hochberg. Here's a snip from the book description:
Edward Weston: Life Work is a 110-photograph survey of this great American artist. Containing photographs from all phases of Weston’s long and varied career, from his first nude in 1909 to his final landscape at Point Lobos, California, in 1948, previously unpublished masterpieces are interspersed with his well-known signature images.
To create the book to accompany the exhibition, Lodima went "all in." There's no better way to put it. Michael simply decided to do whatever was required to make the reproductions as close to the originals as possible.
No expense was spared—the printing cost the better part of $170,000. The book reproductions are the same size as the originals, and Michael went to fanatical lengths to reproduce every detail of the originals, including color and surface. To give you an example, on several occasions they flew to the locations where the exhibit was showing in order to compare the printer's proofs directly to the originals on the wall. The printer was Salto of Belgium, the only printer in the world that works with 600-line screen quadtone (with a fifth ink—to match the print color on Weston's early prints—which had never been done before. And the book uses two different kinds of paper, with a softer matte paper used to match the papers Weston used early in his career). I haven't actually tried this myself, but Michael tells me you can't even see the printing dot pattern with a loupe. I can relay a couple of nice stories about the book's over-the-top printing quality, but I'll do that in a later post.
The book was a success, earning extravagant and widespread praise. It has now nearly sold out, and is no longer available from Amazon; only a few hundred copies remain, available only from the publisher.
As the supply of books dwindles, the price goes up...Lodima's standard practice. Published at $195, the book now costs $225. The final 80 to 100 copies have been set aside as "new old stock" to be sold in the future at $1,000 a copy.
But here's the thing—Michael and Paula are friends, and Michael's the guy who's going to be helping me publish TOP's own books. As we were chatting about how to introduce Lodima Press to TOP's readership, I asked if he'd be willing to offer one of Lodima's books to you for a reduced price, and Michael ("Why just 'a' book? Why not our Edward Weston book?") said he'd be willing to offer a limited number of copies of Edward Weston: Life Work to TOP readers for a discount. I asked how much a discount, and he said, "It's up to you. The book has already paid for itself." (Honest.)
So, for a limited time, and for a limited number of copies, you can order Edward Weston: Life Work for $140, plus only $12 shipping within the U.S.
(Michael later told me $150 was a low as he was willing to go, but that the number I picked was close enough.)
$140 is $85 off the current price, which I think is 37.7%. (You'll recall that I'm arithmetic-challenged.)
The book is available to international purchasers too, but it's big, and it's heavy—international shipping will be substantial. No help for it. At least you're not being left out....
So here's how to order—
[Information removed—books sold out on Friday, Oct. 26th at 9:10 p.m.]
• • •
Okay, now there's one more wrinkle to this deal. Lodima also published 100 slipcased deluxe editions of the book, each of which comes with a modern original print of Tina Modotti's famous portrait of Edward and costs $750. Fewer than 30 of these remain, and Michael has agreed to make up to ten of them available to interested TOP readers for $500. Email him for details about this, and be sure to mention that you came from TOP. On the checkout page, the code to enter is TOP250.
I'll write more later about my impressions of the book, and add some more comments about the superlative reproduction quality. But this is long enough for now. Suffice it to say, whether you're a longtime Weston book collector or you want one good Weston title in your library, you'll love this. Would I steer you wrong?
UPDATE 9:05 a.m.: They're being swamped, so if you've written them an email inquiry and haven't gotten a reply, don't worry, your email will be answered eventually in the order it was received.
UPDATE #2 12:10 a.m. Friday: The publisher's site appears to be down. I'll look into it and let you know what's going on tomorrow morning.
UPDATE #3 2:30 p.m. Friday: The shopping cart was back up and working this morning. Several people have asked about the security of Lodima's online ordering—what I'm told is that they are currently in the process of applying for encryption certification, but that the site is secure—half of each credit card number is sent to them separately in a separate email. I'll see if I can get more specific information later, but I'm being assured there is no problem with security.
UPDATE #4 9:15 p.m. Friday: Sold out. There are still several copies of the deluxe edition available; if you're interested, please email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all, and we hope you enjoy your book!
Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Lyle Allan: "I bought this book when it first came out. I also own a large number of other books about Weston as well and have seen many of his prints (I am still haunted by the gorgeous Weston platinum print shown by James Hyman at the last AIPAD). I can attest to everything that Michael said, this is absolutely, the best Weston book there is. If you don't have it, now is the time."
Nick: "I've been wanting (needing) a Weston book for some time. Giant gaping hole in my shelf without him since he's one of my favorite artists (in any media). Thanks for the recommendation and the deal. I don't normally impulse buy anything over $50 but this is a special exception."
John Sarsgard: "I also got it when first released. I was a student in Michael and Paula's first workshop. They do not have 'that's good enough' in their vocabulary. The reproduction is the finest I have ever seen in a book."