Friday, October 19, 2012

Edward and Charis

In January 1934 Edward Weston (at age 48) met Charis Wilson (19 at the time) and they were instantly drawn to each other, Charis began posing for Edward a couple of months later and by April 1934 they were working and living together. After their second photographic session Weston wrote "a new love came into my life … one which, I believe, will stand the test of time."  In her book "Edward Weston: Nudes" Charis wrote "For anyone interested in statistics – I wasn't – he was 48 years old and I had just turned 20. What was important to me was the sight of someone who quite evidently was twice as alive as anyone else in the room, and whose eyes most likely saw twice as much as anyone else's did."
Edward and Charis were married 5 years later, for the 11 years they were together Charis had a big hand in turning things around for Weston, Charis appears in almost half of his recorded nudes, she wrote the grant application that got Edward the Guggenheim award and she also penned articles for photography magazines that were attributed to him.
Edward and Charis spent much of 1937 and 1938 on an incredible road trip, with the money from the grant and an agreement to provide photos for AAA Westway magazine they took 17 trips covering just under 17,000 miles. In 1939 they were married and the pair published the book (Seeing California with Edward Weston) about their travels using Edward's photos and written by Charis, the book was a success and so together in 1940 they published a second one, (California and the West).
Edward & Charis would take another road trip together in 1941, 20,000 miles through 24 states in order to create illustrations for Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.   
Edward Weston and Charis Wilson discovered what would be a unique partnership, an artistic collaboration and emotional connection, I would guess their relationship was comfortable and rewarding on many levels. And although I cannot be sure, I do believe I have an idea just how he felt.
"Is love like art - something always ahead, never quite attained." ~Edward Weston


  1. Funny, I can't recall ever seeing a photo of Edward Weston eating macaroni and cheese off of Charis, why do you think that is?