Brett Weston - Alaska
Brett Weston - Alaska
Volume 13 in the Portfolios of Brett Weston
Statement by Brett Weston
Afterword by Roger AikinSoftbound Edition of 1000 Copies
Printed by Dual Graphics in 400 Line Screen Quadtone
48 pages 15 Reproductions
12 1/2 x 12 1/2
Originally Portfolio Published in 1978
In 1973, Brett Weston received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to photograph in Alaska. He arrived in May with his close friend Bob Byers, and was hosted in Alaska by Dick Miller and his wife Dudsie, to whom this portfolio is dedicated. Miller was a photographer who had been good friends with both Brett and his father Edward. During this and three subsequent trips, Weston photographed exclusively in the Southeast Peninsula area and not in the larger part of the state.
For the Alaska portfolio Brett wrote what is the only statement on record about his work. “ . . . photographs should be seen and the less said about them the better.”
THE PORTFOLIOS OF BRETT WESTON
A NINETEEN-VOLUME SERIES
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. Many of the photographs in these new books have never before been reproduced. Published in a hardbound edition limited to 250 numbered copies for $150 each. They are available only to subscribers to the entire series. The softbound edition is limited to 1000 copies, and books are available individually or by subscription at prices $10 less than the prices listed below.
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 600-line screen quadtone 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, 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, published in 1973, remains the finest analysis of its type we have ever seen.
Because a single book containing all of the volumes in this series would require 258 reproductions, would weigh many pounds, and would be prohibitively expensive. To date (fall 2015) fourteen books in the nineteen-volume series have been published. The last books in the series will be published in 2016. Volumes eighteen and nineteen will be combined into one binding.
Brett produced two versions of the White Sands portfolio, one in 1949 and one in 1976. Because they are substantially similar, they have been combined into one volume. Three volumes of the series are not, strictly speaking, portfolios. For many years, Brett had a selection of seventeen prints that he offered at a greatly reduced price to the many students who came to visit him. We have gathered these photographs into a seventeenth volume. The eighteenth volume is a book representing a Special Edition collection of photographs that Brett made in 1951. The nineteenth volume is the essay, The Portfolios of Brett Weston, by Roger Aikin.