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Driftwood Stump

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    USA (made)

  • Date:

    1937 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Weston, Edward Henry, born 1886 - died 1958 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    photographic paper, silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the Gordon Fraser Trust through Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 1009, box D

Physical description

Photograph (silver print)

Place of Origin

USA (made)


1937 (made)


Weston, Edward Henry, born 1886 - died 1958 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

photographic paper, silver print


: 381 mm, : 335 mm, : 240 mm Size of image, : 189 mm Size of image

Historical context note

Edward Weston became interested in photography as a young man, attending the Illinois College of Photography from 1908-11. He then opened a portrait studio in Tropico, California, adopting the fashionable Pictorialist style and winning honours and awards for his work. By 1920 Weston’s photographs had come under the influence of modern art and he began to make semi-abstract photographs but still in a soft Pictorialist mode. In 1922 he took two photographs of the Armco steel plant in Ohio, which clearly show his move towards Modernist photography. In 1923 Weston moved to Mexico City with his eldest son Chandler and the photographer Tina Modotti. Free from the restrictions of his portrait studio in California, Weston was experimenting with his photographic style and content. Using an 8x10 plate camera Weston produced sharply focussed still-life studies of Mexican crafts. He would use the less cumbersome Graflex camera for portraits. Weston’s photographs of this period show his growing concern to render the substance and particularity of objects. These preoccupations continued on his return to California in 1926 when he began to produce still lifes of fruits, vegetables and shells. These same concerns are reflected in his nude studies of this period. Weston moved to Carmel in 1929 and began to spend more time taking photographs out of doors. He became particularly fond of the Point Lobos area, producing startling images of the beach forms of driftwood and rocks. In 1932 Weston stopped printing on platinum paper and began making gelatin-silver prints (which he continued until the end of his life). He came to feel that the gelatin-silver print maintained the vibrancy of the photographed object and the original conception of the image. In 1946 he began to use colour photography but only produced a small number of colour prints. He re-photographed subjects he had recorded in black and white exploring the specificity of colour. By 1946 Weston was so stricken with Parkinson’s disease that he was unable to continue taking photographs. In 1953 he supervised the re-printing of over eight hundred of his photographs which was carried out by his son Brett. He died in 1958.

Descriptive line

'Driftwood Stump'; photograph (silver print) by Edward Weston, 1937

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Taken from Departmental Circulation Register 1975


Photographic paper


Silver print; Photography


Photographs; Landscapes


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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