Platinum print, toned
Image: 23 x 16.7 cm (9 1/16 x 6 9/16 in.); Mounted: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.); Paper: 23.8 x 17.3 cm (9 3/8 x 6 13/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1997.132
© 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
While Weston’s work is usually viewed as the epitome of modernist photography, in his early career he worked in a pictorialist manner. Influenced by Clarence H. White, Karl Struss, and particularly Anne Brigman, he typically used a soft-focus lens and scrim lighting to soften edges and create spatial and planar ambiguity, and he preferred symbolist subject matter in his work until 1915-16. Weston’s interest in photographing dancers—a theme often explored by Brigman—likely developed after meeting her in 1915. That year he photographed several dancers, including Violet Romer, of whom at least 22 photographs exist, including 4 in her title role for The Psyche Myth. During this period he submitted a portfolio to the prestigious London Salon of Photography that resulted in a series of articles, bringing the young photographer his first favorable critical response.
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