Fifty Brett Weston Photographs Donated to Museum by Christian Keesee

April 30, 2018

San Antonio, TX—April 30, 2018

Philanthropist and art collector Christian Keesee has donated fifty Brett Weston (American, 1911-1993) photographs to the San Antonio Museum of Art. The images date from 1940 to 1985 and cover a range of subjects including landscapes in Texas, California, Mexico, and Hawaii and reflect Weston’s singular devotion to an exquisite formalism that emphasizes the lyrical and sensuous potential of line and form.

“I enjoyed working closely with the Brett Weston Archive to select a beautiful group of Weston’s photographs,” says Suzanne Weaver, the Brown Foundation 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 19th century.”

The Brett Weston Archive was founded by Keesee to catalog the artist’s collection, to share his work, and to show the different sides of the artist after Keesee acquired the most complete collection of Weston’s work from the Brett Weston Estate in 1996. Keesee has previously given selections of work by Brett Weston to other museums including the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

More about the artist: 
Brett Weston, a Los Angeles native and son of photographer Edward Weston, began his career as an apprentice when he moved to Mexico with his father at age 13. Brett was introduced to the work of modern artists Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Jose Clemente Orozco, which had a formative influence on his work. His tendency towards abstraction is characteristic of his photography throughout his nearly seventy-year career.

Weston’s body of work is also celebrated for his commitment to materials and process. Known to be obsessive about printing among friends and family, he printed nearly every day from 4:00 to 11:00 a.m., employing arcane processes and always using high quality paper.

Image: Brett Weston (American, 1911-1993), Untitled (Joshua Trees, Desert Landscape), 1942, Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm), San Antonio Museum of Art, gift from the Christian Keesee Collection.