Northwestern's Block Museum Receives Gift of Brett Weston Photographs

Northwestern's Block Museum Receives Gift of Brett Weston Photographs

Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art has announced a gift of fifty photographs by Brett Weston from art collector Christian Keesee.

One of photographer Edward Weston's four sons, Weston explored the creative possibilities of abstraction through photography during the rise of Abstract expressionism in the 1940s and experimented with new silver papers that favored sharp focus and high contrast — materials he later introduced to his father. The works included in Keesee's gift span five decades of Weston's career, from 1934 to 1985, with many featuring his trademark close-ups and abstracted details reduced to pure form.

Keesee, who in 1996 acquired the most complete collection of Weston's work directly from the photographer's estate and founded the Brett Weston Archive, has given a portion of the collection to several museums over the past decade. Chair of Kirkpatrick Bank and Kirkpatrick Oil & Gas Company, Keesee also is co-founder and president of the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, co-founder of GreenBox Arts, and founder of the now-closed Marfa Contemporary and serves as board chair of the Kirkpatrick Foundation and president of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

"At the Block, this group of photographs by Brett Weston will be part of a collection that includes seminal works of twentieth-century American photography [by] Edward Steichen, W. Eugene Smith, Alan Cohen, and the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information," said Block Museum associate director of curatorial affairs Kathleen Bickford Berzock. "They also will be seen alongside a growing collection of images by photographers working around the globe."

"Block Museum Receives Major Gift of Photography by Brett Weston." Northwestern University Block Museum of Art Press Release 05/31/2019.