Issue #206  9/5/2014
Sotheby’s to Auction 548 Weston Photographs as a Single Lot on September 30th in New York City with $2-3 Million Estimate
Weston's Two Shells
Weston's Two Shells

On September 30, 2014, Sotheby’s New York will present a collection of Edward Weston photographs printed posthumously by his son Cole. The single-lot sale of "Property from the Cole Weston Trust" includes dozens of the iconic images that established Edward Weston as one of the giants of 20th-century photography.

According to Sotheby's, the 548 photographs presented in this sale comprise the largest collection of prints by Cole, from his father’s negatives, in private hands. The sale carries an estimate of $2 to $3 million and the pre-sale exhibition opens on September 26th.

Denise Bethel, chairman, Sotheby's Photographs, Americas, commented: "This sale is a testament to (Edward Weston's) extraordinary talent and to his son Cole's artistic skills in faithfully representing his father’s vision. As darkroom photography fades into history, these photographs are not only the last prints that will be made from Edward Weston's negatives, but also one of the last great darkroom undertakings of our time."

Through the 1940s and 50s, Edward Weston supervised his two sons, Cole and Brett, in the darkroom, instilling in them his own exacting standards. After he died in 1958, his will specified that Cole, and only Cole, would be allowed to print from his negatives. A well-known photographer in his own right, Cole subsequently worked with his father’s negatives for over 40 years.

After Cole's death in 2003, Edward Weston's negatives were permanently retired to the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, with the stipulation that no further fine art prints would be made. The collection being offered here is by far the greatest group of prints by Cole, from his father's negatives, in private hands. The only other groups of considerable magnitude are owned by institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with several hundred; and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson.