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Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies announces addition of Brett Weston portfolio
Brett Weston, Rock and Kelp, Carmel Beach, California, 1956, Silver Gelatin Print, 8x 10 inches, Gift from the Christian Keesee Collection.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies announced the addition of 100 works by Brett Weston to its Photography Collection, a gift from the Christian Keesee Collection. FAPE unveiled the portfolio to Secretary of State John Kerry at its annual dinner on April 20, at the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms.

“We are grateful for this generous donation from the Christian Keesee Collection,” said FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder. “Brett Weston is one of the greatest American photographic artists. We are delighted to celebrate his work, and for the opportunity to share his spectacular photographs with our U.S. embassies around the world.”

In 2013, FAPE launched a collection of American photography, which supports its mission of cross-cultural understanding within the diplomatic community and the international public, with editions by Tina Barney and William Wegman. FAPE’s Photography Collection has since expanded with donations by Richard Benson, Sidney Felsen, Cindy Sherman and Carrie Mae Weems. Brett Weston is the seventh artist represented in the Collection.

“It is very exciting to contribute to the expanding FAPE Photography Collection,” said Christian Keesee. “It is a wonderful opportunity to share Brett Weston’s work with U.S. embassies around the world.”

Brett Weston was born in Los Angeles in 1911, the second son of photographer Edward Weston. In 1925, Edward removed Brett from school and took him to Mexico, where he became his father's apprentice and was surrounded by the likes of Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

In 1929, Brett and his father moved to Carmel, California. At various times, he also lived in Los Angeles where he had his own studio and portrait business, and in New York where he was stationed in the army. Following a 1947 Guggenheim Fellowship, which he used to photograph along the East Coast, he moved to Carmel to pursue his art work, including wood sculpture that was influenced by his own photographs.

From the 1950s through the ‘80s, Weston's style changed sharply and was characterized by high contrast, abstract imagery. The subjects he chose were, for the most part, not unlike what interested him early in his career: plant leaves, knotted roots, and tangled kelp. He concentrated mostly on close-ups and abstract details, but his prints reflected a preference for high contrast that reduced his subjects to pure form.

Brett Weston died in Kona, Hawaii, on January 22, 1993.

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