« Quote o' the Day | Main | OT: On the Origin of Species »

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Abe Books UK has a two-in-one copy of Daybooks for £15. I picked up seperate copies for less than £20 on Amazon Marketplace a couple of years ago. They are the best photography read I have had.

Eloquent Nude: The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston and Charis Wilson. (Anyone seen that?)

Yep, it was broadcast on Hungarian national TV. I loved it. I especially enjoyed the story when Edward and Charis had a picnic in the mountains with Ansel Adams (good friend of Edward Weston) and then Charis started to tell dirty limericks to entertain the men.

The Eloquent Nude was on Ovation channel last night here in the Chicago area on Comcast - check the listings for Thanksgiving - they are running shows on Photography all day, perhaps it will be on again. It is an interesting movie.

"Abe Books UK has a two-in-one copy of Daybooks for £15."

Not any more they don't.


Lest people get the wrong idea, the Daybooks have been consolidated into a single paperback edition, $24 direct from the Aperture Foundation:


(I think we've done this before.)

I never made it through the local library copy. Maybe it's time I bought one, too. Lots of drama, and melodrama, but lots of great photo stuff, too. It stuck in my mind that he was obsessed about the "importance" of particular photographs, over and above their aesthetic success.

The Eloquent Nude is running on the Ovation channel this week. They seem to be having one of their periodic set of photography shows.

The "no more" quote appears in Ansel Adams' autobiography I think. I'm fairly sure is not that wording, though something similar, at least as reported by Adams. Unfortunately I don't have the book to hand to check...

Eloquent Nude: The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston and Charis Wilson is currently on Ovation TV here in NYC. A wonderful watch.

I can recommend Edward Weston: His Life by Ben Maddow for a comprehensive overview and Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston: A Passionate Collaboration by Beth Gates Warren for insight into another of Weston's great muses, not forgetting that there are lots of books about Tina Modotti now.
Both above named books available from Amazon (don't forget to go there via TOP!)

Cheers, Robin

The "Elequent Nude" DVD can be bought from http://www.eloquentnude.org/ I think it is well worth $25 for anyone interested in Edward Weston. Charis Wilson seemed a lovely old lady in the film.

Robin Mellor (UK)

A quick search turned up http://www.eloquentnude.org/, which sells the movie DVD. The Ovation cable network will present the documentary four times before the end of the month (http://www.ovationtv.com/programs/513-the-eloquent-nude). That Ovation Web page offers a 4 minute clip of the show.

Ovation is featuring a number of photography related shows this week. The page at http://www.ovationtv.com/programs/FRAMED/ lists the shows, and offers clips of each.


Watched The Eloquent Nude on OVATION just last evening.Check for additional showings,
they do an entire series on Photography ever
so often.

P.S. Have a great Thanksgiving.

The Eloquent Nude will be on Ovation channel this week. It is photography week on Ovation and I know I saw it at least once when going through the schedule to decide what to record.

here is an intewrview froom 1982:

I had no idea Charis was still around either; thanks for posting this.
Daybook 2 is the only one I have (could afford) from back in the 1970s. It was a great favourite and I must re-visit it. I always promised myself I would get Daybook 1 as soon as I could afford it, but never did.

It is still possible to buy the combined volumes in their reprint form here in the UK, at a not unreasonable £16.95 - Christmas present Mike?

Mike wrote:

"When I came of age in photography, it was just past the time when reading Weston's Daybooks (in the then-ubiquitous two-volume Aperture set, now long out of print) was almost a rite of passage among photographers of a certain ambition."

I certainly resemble that remark. This was the 1970s, when freedom, love, and a life of art was a not uncommon aspiration for dreamy young men. Weston had the whole bundle, and Charis was part of that. (This was the same time that The Diary and Anais Nin was also popular, and for similar reasons.)

A few years ago I picked up Wilson's autobiography, which I enjoyed a great deal -- some wonderful photos, among other attractions. And I was sad to read her obit in the Times.

It seems too obvious to add that what remains are the photos, which will continue to nourish as long as people are interested in photography. Chris Wilson may be dead, but in this important way, she lives on.

Eloquent Nude aired last night on OvationTV, and is scheduled for rebroadcast 11/27, 28, & 29.

I doubt Charis wasted a single day of those 95 years...

Mike delete my comment on Elegant Nude DVD at Amazon.

Here is where DVD's can be obtained from the film makers.


Have you checked Alibris? They have multiple copies of the Daybook volumes at various prices

I purchased the two-in-one volume directly from Aperture last year for about $30. Last time I checked, it's still available. Definitely worth the read.

The Eloquent Nude is being shown on Ovation TV this week.

Film you mentioned is being shown on the Ovation network this week, part of their week long photography event called "Framed".

It's hard for me, as a photographer of a certain age, that the Daybooks are not still required reading. I still have my well thumbed Morgan & Morgan papernback edition.

This brings to mind what is to me a touchstone of the contemporary "camera as computer peripheral" era - young photographers seem know little or nothing about the gods of my Pantheon: Cartier-Bresson, Weston, Minor White, Koudelka and so on. Or even Pete Turner, Ernst Haas and Bert Stern.

No insights, just an observation.

Jeez! If there was ever a photography related book which should always be in print it is the "Daybooks."
I've been trying to replace my very worn paperback two-volume set with hardcovers for nearly 30 years.

The cable channel OVATION TV will be showing The Eloquent Nude on Friday, November 27th, and then again on Sunday and Monday, the 29th and 30th. Here's a link to the schedule which includes a preview video:

The allure of this woman is unmistakable, both physical and spiritual....

I, too, was unaware that Charis was still with us. And this is the first notice of her passing I have read. The story of Edward and Charis would make for a Hollywood film of epic emotional stature, with no computer-generated effects needed. (Except for, perhaps, some re-creation of Depression-era tableax...)

I saw Eloquent Nude last night on TV. I guess that wasn't a coincidence that it was on. There is always something sad about the passage of time. Their story was very moving. She really was his strength but I am not sure he always appreciated her contributions. Sometimes you don't know what you have until you lose it.

The cable channel OVATION TV will be showing The Eloquent Nude on Friday, November 27th and again on Sunday and Monday, the 29th and 30th. Here's a link to the schedule and a video:


You can see clips of Eloquent Nude here:

I'm fortunate enough to have the Daybooks in my book collection. Another book worth having is Amy Conger's 'Edward Weston: Photographs from the Collection of the Center for Creative Photography.' It includes information from Charis Wilson's journals, but beyond that, is the largest catalog ever published on any photographer's body of work. It summarizes over 1800 images and includes an amazing amount of research and detail into Weston's working practices.

I also own a 30 minute video entitled 'Remembering Edward Weston,' which was produced by the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. It includes live interviews with Charis Wilson, Brett and Cole Weston, Beaumont Newhall and Dody Thompson. Each provide personal stories and reminiscences about their experiences with Edward. Appropriately, it won a "Muse Award" from the American Association of Museums.

The video is now out of print. However, I decided to call the museum in Santa Fe anyway to see if they had any remaining copies. The friendly staff member thought they were gone, but she called back after checking storage and found one copy. So, Mike, have at it...505-982-1131.

"Eloquent Nude" is available from www.eloquentnude.org for $25.00

I was definitely surprised to see that Edward Weston's 'Daybooks' is (are?) no longer in print; it's really part of the 'canon' of photography-as-art. Even used copies of the single volume paperback are now over $60.

There's a motley selection of Edward Weston photo books available. The most recent issues all focus on his nudes, probably because such books are predictable sellers.
The best general survey available is the pricey but gorgeous Lodima Press 'Life Work', which uses multiple paper stocks and inks to closely emulate Weston's original prints. Amazon still lists new copies of 'Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel', which has beautiful reproductions and an elegiac character. It addresses the sunset of Weston's photography, the interval between his divorce from Charis and his disability from Parkinson's disease. It may also be possible to find new copies of 'Dune', an exquisitely printed book comprising dune photographs by Edward and Brett Weston.

Dear Mike,

Seems to me it should be mentioned that Charis was a photographer and artist in her own right and more than a mere appendage to Edward.

I read The Daybooks in hardcover in college, presumably the 1961 edition (unless there was an earlier one by a different press). Some decades later I acquired a set of the paperbacks with a copyright date of 1973 (the white cover edition). To my surprise, I found that most of Book IV (his declining years) had been removed from the 1973 edition.

That redacted closing leaves one with a considerably sweeter impression of Edward, who was not exactly the world's nicest and most honorable man (understatement).

I've always wondered at whose behest the effort was made to clean up his image.

Are the paperbacks really rare now? Amazon seems to have quite a few used copies at reasonable prices.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com


Last winter I read Margaretta K. Mitchell's Ruth Bernhard:Between Art and Life. That quote, as I remember, is very close to a Weston line in one of the many letters exchanged between him and Ruth Bernhard.

Thanks, David McCoy

abebooks.com lists a number of copies of hardcover daybooks at various prices (some ex-library, some presumably not). (as a bookseller, i like to know these things.. as well as ways to get them from independent bookstores.)

Thanks for sharing, Mike. And thanks Ctein, for remember that. Charis was much more than a muse and lover, and few people can remember or accept it either.

Edward had good taste. Yum-my.

Thank you for this blog, I can't tell you what it means to me sometimes. I took all of Newhall's classes at the University of New Mexico in the late 70's. He made these people real to us, and we felt as if we'd known them personally, because he had. The news about Charis reached me via the online photographer as I was leaving my office for the weekend, like a faint radio signal from a distant, distant star. I thought about it all day yesterday, but who could I tell, that it wasn't just a dream after all....

Charis Wilson joins that group of women I have fallen in love with without really knowing. Of course, she would have been old enough to be my mother, but that wouldn't have stopped us.

A documentary - I cannot remember the name - of Charis talking about her time with Weston was aired on the ABC on Sunday Arts here in Australia.

All I remember was when Charis was talking about camping with Brett: Charis said that Ansel Adams had told the pair an entire list of camping gear they needed, down to the last detail. Weston replied back: "For camping, all you need is salt, bacon, and jellybeans."

I'd say that sounds about right for Adams...

"charis and I are no longer one" he wrote that to Ansel Adams.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007