Refresh the Eye: Brett Weston Photographs


Nov 07, 2023 - May 05, 2024

“The impact of a new place can’t be described. It’s a way to refresh the eye.” – Brett Weston

For Brett Weston (1911–1993), photography was an obsession that defined his life. The son of another well-known photographer, Edward Weston, Brett began his career by developing prints from his father’s negatives and traveling with his father to take photographs in Mexico. Surrounded by artists, he began creating, and participated in his first major exhibition by age sixteen.

Most of Weston’s photographs look at landscapes and cityscapes, yet these spaces are transformed in the final images. His views of feathers, dunes, peeling paint, and cracked glass become abstract images focused on rhythms of repeating patterns, textures, and passages of black and white. Weston traveled extensively in search of new subjects; he was not interested in creating carefully composed photographs, but instead in making images reflecting the emotion of his world.

This Collection Focus exhibition features twenty-one photographs by Weston that were recently given to the Birmingham Museum of Art by the Christian Keesee Collection.

Image credit: Brett Weston (American, 1911–1993), Sandbar Abstraction, Water, about 1970, gelatin silver print. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift from the Christian Keesee Collection, AFI.63.2018