Rare Edward Weston photographs highlight Moran's 20th Century Photography: The Emergence of Modernism sale
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Rare Edward Weston photographs highlight Moran's 20th Century Photography: The Emergence of Modernism sale
Edward Weston (1886-1958), “Chayotes,” 1924. Palladium print on paper hinged to a thin board mount, Image/Sheet: 7.5” H x 9.625” W; Mount: 18” H x 14” W est. $50,000-70,000.

MONROVIA, CALIF.- John Moran Auctioneers will present 20th Century Photography: The Emergence of Modernism on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023, at 10:00am PDT. The impressive collection will feature works by Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, and more! The selection will include eight previously unlocated images from Edward Weston’s 1920’s repertoire. 

Highlighting the sale is a rare collection of Edward Weston photographs that have been part of the Frederick W. Davis Collection for the last one hundred years. Known as, “one of the masters of 20th century photography,” Edward Weston was an American photographer who contributed to the development of photography to the point it has been regarded as an essential element of modern art. Fred Davis was an early collector and dealer in Mexican folk art who had a shop in Mexico City.

Based on Weston’s journal entries, his first encounter with Davis took place in late August 1924, while he and his son, Chandler and female companion, Tina Modotti were visiting the city of Cuernavaca.  Davis owned a residence there and invited them to tour his garden where Weston photographed a statuesque palm tree. After Weston’s second solo exhibition in Mexico City, Fred Davis acquired the photograph of the palm tree that Weston took in his garden. The friendship continued and eventually, Weston was trading photographs with Davis for upscale clothing from his shop.

Although Weston and Davis crossed paths only briefly, both men proved to be extraordinary in their vision and determination to excel.  About five years after Davis’s death, much of what remained in his estate (including the eight photographs he had acquired from Weston and two Imogen Cunningham images) was put into storage boxes.  Family members, two generations removed from Davis, and fifty years later, rediscovered the boxes and have selected Moran’s to bring these historical images to market.

Preview for this sale will take place Friday, December 1st – Tuesday, December 5th from 12:00-4:00pm PDT at our showroom: 145 E. Walnut Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016. Printed catalogues are available for purchase that include new essays.

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