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Edward Weston

来源:慢速英语   时间:2020-05-08 16:58:55

VOICE ONE:

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I'm Mary Tillotson.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program, PEOPLEIN AMERICA. Today, we tell about the American photographer EdwardWeston.

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VOICE ONE:

Edward Weston is one of the most recognized of all Americanphotographers. He is probably most responsible for helping people tosee photography as an art form.

Today, art experts consider photographers who took pictures likeMister Weston's to be part of the art movement called Modernism. Thekind of photographs Mister Weston took are called "StraightPhotography." No unusual effects were used to change the image ofthe subject. The photographs appear to show reality in a pure andclear way.

Yet, Mister Weston did not always use his camera to take picturesthat way. At first, he took pictures influenced by the popularphotographs of his time. Photographers, then, made pictures that didnot appear sharp and clear. Instead, they appeared "soft." They weresimilar to painted pictures that tried to be beautiful, notrealistic.


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VOICE TWO:

Edward Weston was born in Highland Park, Illinois, ineighteen-eighty-six. When he was sixteen, his father gave him one ofthe early cameras made by the Kodak company. Edward soon showed someof his photographs at the Chicago Art Institute.

In nineteen-oh-six, Edward Weston decided to move west where heworked for a railroad company. He briefly returned to Chicago tostudy at the Illinois College of Photography. But, he soon returnedto California. He married Flora Chandler in nineteen-oh-nine. Theylater had four sons.

VOICE ONE:

Edward Weston owned a store in the area of Glendale, California.He made and sold pictures of people. He also had some of his writingon photography published.

Several important photographers he met in southern Californiainfluenced him. Imogen Cunningham and Margrethe Mather were two ofthem. Mizz Mather worked with Mister Weston on several pictures.Mizz Cunningham praised Mister Weston's work. She gave moral supportthat led Mister Weston to seek out other photographic influences.

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VOICE TWO:

Edward Weston decided to travel to New York City innineteen-twenty-two. He wanted to meet the most influential Americanphotographers in the east. He expected to be praised by members ofthe artistic community there.

Alfred Stieglitz was the most influential photographer in theUnited States at the time. He was the reason for Mister Weston'strip to New York City. He was responsible for a magazine calledCamera Works. Mister Stieglitz helped many of the photographerswhose work he liked, including Paul Strand and Ansel Adams.

Alfred Stieglitz met with Edward Weston two times. He did not saythat he liked Mister Weston's work. Mister Stieglitz would point tosome parts of the pictures he liked. Then he would point tosomething he did not like.

VOICE ONE:

Edward Weston discovered an art community in New York that he hadnever imagined before. He met many people who, today, are recognizedas important American photographers and artists. One of them wasGeorgia O'Keeffe.

Mizz O'Keeffe became one of America's most famous woman painters.Mister Weston saw some of her work in New York. He wrote that hewould remember it for many years to come.

Edward Weston felt good about his visit to New York, although hewas criticized there. He wrote to a friend saying that his artisticsense was changing. He said Alfred Stieglitz had not changedhim-only intensified him.

VOICE TWO:

The photographer Ansel Adams said that in the earlynineteen-twenties Mister Weston had a growing business takingpictures of people. Yet, he gave up his business and left his familyto travel to a foreign land. In February of nineteen-twenty-three,Mister Weston wrote, "I leave for Mexico City in late March to startlife anew."

Mister Weston traveled to Mexico with Tina Modotti. The two haddeveloped a relationship in Los Angeles. Both were active in theartistic community of southern California. They spent most of threeyears in Mexico. At the time, many artists and writers weregathering in the Latin American country.

Mister Weston depended on Mizz Modotti a great deal. With herhelp, Mister Weston was able to experience a cultural life that wascompletely foreign to him. He could not speak Spanish, so she helpedhim communicate.

For a time, the two had both a working and personal relationship.Mister Weston agreed to teach Mizz Modotti photography. In return,she ran his photography business and helped organize shows.

VOICE ONE:

Soon, Mizz Modotti became a well-known photographer on her own.The two photographers met many famous Mexican artists during theirstay. Painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kalho were among them. MizzModotti photographed many of Mister Rivera's wall paintings. MisterWeston made one of his best known pictures by capturing the intenseexpression of another Mexican painter, Jose Clemente Orozco.

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VOICE TWO:

In Mexico, Edward Weston started to sharpen the "StraightPhotography" way of taking pictures that he had begun to developbefore his trip to New York. He took pictures of people he met andof objects and buildings. His pictures appeared to represent thetrue nature of his subjects. He also took many photographs ofcultural objects called folk art. At that time, many artists werereconsidering the importance of folk art. They began to realize thattraditional forms of art are as important to culture as the art thatnormally is shown in museums.

Mister Weston's experience in Mexico changed his ideas aboutphotography. He returned to California permanently innineteen-twenty-six to continue his own work. Mizz Modotti becameinvolved in political activism. She traveled to Europe to photographthe rise of Fascism there before she died mysteriously innineteen-forty-two.

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VOICE ONE:

After Edward Weston returned from Mexico he began producing fullydeveloped work. He now made simple photographs that were sharprepresentations of their subjects.

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A sea shell and a vegetablecalled a green pepper (pictured) were the subjects of two of hismost famous photographs. The idea he presented was that simpleobjects are, in fact, beautiful forms. He would often take picturesof rocks, coastlines, vegetable life and even the unclothed humanbody. Mister Weston's goal was to celebrate the beauty of shapes.

VOICE TWO:

Edward Weston's life began to change. His marriage to FloraChandler ended and he married Charis Wilson. They moved to Carmel,California.

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Mister Weston spent a lot oftime at a nearby place on the coast called Point Lobos.

Many of his best known pictures show the beauty of the rockycoastline of northern California. His pictures often were of unusualrock formations. His new wife, Charis, was his most important modelduring this time.

In nineteen-thirty-seven, Mister Weston received the highesthonor of his lifetime. He was given the first Guggenheim Fellowshipever presented to a photographer. The award signaled thatphotographers were now considered "serious artists."

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VOICE ONE:

Edward Weston continued to work through the nineteen-thirties andforties. Yet, he never earned much money. He lived in a small housethat his sons built for him in Carmel, California. Innineteen-forty-five, his second wife, Charis, left him.

Mister Weston had to stop work three years later. The effects ofParkinson's disease ended his ability to take photographs andprocess them. His sons took care of him until he died ten yearslater in nineteen-fifty-eight.

VOICE TWO:

Experts say that Edward Weston helped change the way Americansunderstood photography. Photography had been thought of mainly as away to record information. Edward Weston showed that photographersworked to capture the same forms that other artists did in theirsearch for beauty.

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VOICE ONE:

This Special English program was written by Mario Ritter. It wasproduced by Caty Weaver. I'm Mary Tillotson.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Steve Ember. Join us again next week for another PEOPLEIN AMERICA program on the Voice of America.