AMERICAN NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER
ANSEL ADAMS. Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, quarto, February 6, 1960. On his name imprinted stationery, to “Dear Nick.”
“It was good to talk with you the other day – although I must have sounded very dull indeed! This flu is bad stuff!! I am still in bed with it, and I can think of many more pleasant things to be in bed with!
“Don’t worry about that remaining $25.00 on the Weston Portfolio. I recall I asked you to make up a print of the portrait of Hovannes for me: please apply that print to this remaining $25.00. When you send me the $50.00 please include a short statement to the effect that the loan of $100.00 was paid in full–$75. by cash and $25.00 applied to the purchase of a print. The letter goes into the professional expense bracket.
“I am going to hang on to this print myself -the acquisitions program at G. E. House is still uncertain.
“Brett brought a collection of EWs prints here about a month ago – wanting $2500.00 for them. Several facts seem apparent to me – he is unloading them so he can get to Europe – for EWs really good prints, the sum is not enough – the collection was not well selected. I frankly did not like the idea at all – but you know Brett! I have tried to interest some people here in placing it (with the provision that several important pictures would be added) but to no avail as yet. Remember, there are MANY Westons around – and the time is not ripe for a “revival”. The Polaroid people just did not see their way clear to finance an entire collection (but they might – and I say this without any hint from them that it is so – make a contribution.) Brett is not handling the matter correctly – for the good of his father’s work and for himself.
“A week in bed generated many thoughts; sometimes I have a glimmer of an idea that I know what photography is all about. I think I shall go into the ready-made bicycle-parts business! My best to you and all of you–“
The Brett that Ansel Adams refers to is photographer Brett Weston, son of Edward Weston, one of the pivotal figures in the establishment of photography as fine art. In 1932, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams helped organize group f/64 to promote “straight” photography. In response to the artistic type of photography that was popular at the time, the group placed emphasis on pure photography. The EW prints that Ansel Adams refers to are Edward Weston prints.
Ansel Adams writes the same year that his influential book, This is The American Earth was published. This book (with text by Nancy Newhall) launched the Sierra Club Exhibit Format Series, creating a revolution in environmental action and attitude.
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