I spent a night last week in Edward Weston’s house in Wildcat Canyon at the southern end of Carmel Highlands in Big Sur. To be a bit more precise, I stayed in the guesthouse which the current owners—Kim and Gina Weston—rent out as in informal bed-and-breakfast. As a perk, Kim and Gina generously allowed me to photograph inside Edward Weston’s house, where they now live. I gather that for the most part the house is pretty much as it was in Edward’s day, with many of his touches still in evidence (more photos to come).
If I have a personal historical photographic hero whose work I admire, it would be Edward Weston. Weston died in penury in this relatively modest house, which was built for him by his son Neil Weston in 1938 for $1,000.
The guesthouse where I stayed—known as Bodie House—was used by Charis Wilson (Edward’s famous model and second wife) as her writing studio when she needed a little space. The whole place is like a museum, with incredible photographic prints on the walls, and personal touches of Edward Weston and the Weston family everywhere I looked. I felt very privileged to be there, and to be allowed to photograph.
Speaking of the Weston family, photographer Kim Weston is the son of Cole Weston, the youngest of Edward’s four children. Figuring out the familial relationships of the various descendants of Edward Weston to each other is as complex, twisted and convoluted as the giant Agave americana shown above in front of Edward’s Weston’s house. For help, check out the Weston Legacy site for some information about this complex and intriguing cast of characters. Clearly, photography runs in the family.
Want to learn more about Edward Weston and his work? I recommend starting with Edward Weston’s famous Daybooks.
If you are interested, here’s the information about arranging a stay at Bodie House!