Between 1939 and 1980 Brett Weston produced sixteen limited edition portfolios of original photographs. He believed passionately in the power of his original prints and chose the portfolio as the way to reach an expanded audience while still maintaining control over image quality. Today, Weston’s original portfolios are rare, expensive, and relatively inaccessible in museums, archives, libraries, or private collections.
Printing technology now makes it possible, however, to bring the Brett Weston portfolios to a larger audience in reproductions that, in their rich detail, tonal scale and color, surface quality, and aesthetic appeal, are almost indistinguishable from the original prints. Printed in Belgium by Salto in unprecedented 600-line screen quadtone, and later by Dual Graphics in 400-line screen quadtone (after Salto ceased printing books). Printed on heavy coated stock, the photographs have been reproduced actual size whenever possible.
To recreate the feeling of the original portfolios, great care has been taken not only with the reproduction of the photographs, but with every aspect of these books. Where there is text in the portfolios, it is reproduced in facsimile, and the color of each book’s cover has been selected to match the covers of the original portfolio cases.
The art historian Roger Aikin, a close friend of Brett’s, has provided an introductory essay for each book in the series with writing that sets the photographs in the context of Weston’s life and career. Dr. Aikin’s critical analysis comparing the photographs of Brett and those of his father was published in 1973 and remains the finest analysis of its type we have ever seen.