Marvelous Portraits by Edward Weston

Edward Henry Weston (1886 – 1958) was a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called:

“one of the most innovative and influential American photographers…” and “one of the masters of 20th century photography.”

Over the course of his 40-year career Weston photographed an increasingly expansive set of subjects, including landscapes, still lifes, nudes, portraits, genre scenes and even whimsical parodies. It is said that he developed a:

“quintessentially American, and specially Californian, approach to modern photography”

because of his focus on the people and places of the American West. In 1937 Weston was the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, and over the next two years he produced nearly 1,400 negatives using his 8 × 10 view camera. Some of his most famous photographs were taken of the trees and rocks at Point Lobos, California, near where he lived for many years.

Weston was born in Chicago and moved to California when he was 21. He knew he wanted to be a photographer from an early age, and initially his work was typical of the soft focus pictorialism that was popular at the time. Within a few years, however, he abandoned that style and went on to be one of the foremost champions of highly detailed photographic images.

In 1947 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and he stopped photographing soon thereafter. He spent the remaining ten years of his life overseeing the printing of more than 1,000 of his most famous images.

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Edward Weston, Portrait of Ruth St. Denis, 1916 via

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Edward Weston, Unidentified Woman, 1920 via

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Tina Modotti, Glendale. Photograph by Edward Weston, 1921 via

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Edward Weston. Frida Kahlo, 1930 via

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Xenia Kashevaroff photographed by Edward Weston in 1931. This portrait is now in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art via

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Edward Weston, Charis Wilson, 1941 The Lane Collection
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston via

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Frida Kahlo and Emmy Lou Packard

Emmy Lou Packard was a Californian post-war artist known for painting, printmaking and murals. She had a passion for the cause of social justice and peace. She was born on April 15, 1914 near El Centro, California, to parents Emma and Walter Packard. Her father founded an agricultural cooperative community in the Imperial Valley and was an internationally known agronomist.

In 1927, the Packard family traveled to Mexico for Walter’s consulting job with the Mexican government working on agrarian and land settlement reform issues. Emmy was 13 years old during this trip and a very active artist; her mother introduced her to artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and this was the beginning of a long friendship and mentorship.

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Frida Kahlo by Emmy Lou Packard, Mexico, 1941

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Frida Kahlo and Emmy Lou Packard

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Frida Kahlo and Emy Lou Packard by Diego Rivera

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Beatiful Photos of Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund (1950s)

Gisèle Freund (1908 –  2000) was a German-born French photographer and photojournalist, famous for her documentary photography and portraits of writers and artists.

In 1950 Freund´s photocoverage of a bejewelled Eva Peron for Life Magazine caused a diplomatic stir between the United States and Argentina —  the ostentatious photographs went against the official party line of austerity. Life Magazine was blacklisted in Argentina and Freund had to escape the country.

Freund embarked on a two-week trip to Mexico, but she wouldn’t leave until two years later. There she met the legendary couple Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Welcomed into their home, she immersed herself in their private lives and the cultural and artistic diversity of the country, taking hundreds of photographs (source).

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952

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Frida Kahlo Photographed by Toni Frissell

Toni Frissell (1907 – 1988) was an American photographer, known for her fashion photography, World War II photographs, and portraits of famous Americans and Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life.

Her initial job, as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1931, was due to Condé Montrose Nast personally. She later took photographs for Harper’s Bazaar. Her fashion photos, even of evening gowns and such, were often notable for their outdoor settings, emphasizing active women.

In the 1950s, she took informal portraits of the famous and powerful in the United States and Europe.

In later work she concentrated on photographing women from all walks of life, often as a commentary on the human condition.

The pictures of Frida Kahlo where taken during a Vogue Magazine photo shoot in 1937 entitled “Señoras of Mexico”, while Frissell was a staff photographer.

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Frida Kahlo seated next to an agave plant in 1937. For Vogue by Toni Frissell.

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Frida Kahlo standing next to an agave plant in 1937. For Vogue by Toni Frissell.

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“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you” – Frida Kahlo

Female Portrait Photographs by Carl Van Vechten

Carl Van Vechten (1880 – 1964) was an American writer and artistic photographer who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein.

In the 1930s, Van Vechten began taking portrait photographs.

Among the many individuals he photographed were Josephine Baker, Tallulah Bankhead, Theda Bara, Harry Belafonte, Leonard Bernstein,  Karen Blixen, Jane Bowles, Marlon Brando, Truman Capote, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Ella Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Martha Graham, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Horst P. Horst, Mahalia Jackson, Frida Kahlo, Eartha Kitt, Henri Matisse, W. Somerset Maugham, Elsa Maxwell, Henry Miller, Joan Miró, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Diego Rivera, Gertrude Stein, James Stewart, Alfred Stieglitz, Gloria Vanderbilt, Gore Vidal, Evelyn Waugh, Orson Welles and Anna May Wong.

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Frida wearing a Tchuantepee gourd by Carl Van Vechten (1932)

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Tallulah Bankhead by Carl Van Vechten (1934)

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 Anna May Wong by Carl Van Vechten (1935)

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Josephine Baker by Carl Van Vechten

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Gertrude Stein by Carl Van Vechten (1935)

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Lillian Gish by Carl Van Vechten (1937)

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Theda Bara by Carl Van Vechten (1939)

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Karen Blixen by Carl Van Vechten (1959)

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