Interdependent parts of the whole: Edward Weston's studio nudes and still lifes, 1925-1933

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Title: Interdependent parts of the whole: Edward Weston's studio nudes and still lifes, 1925-1933
Author: Barton, Laura Christine
Abstract: Photographer Edward Weston has long been hailed as one of the heroes of modern photography and has been praised for his stunning approach to landscapes, nudes, and still-lifes. This thesis examines his treatment of the nude female form and examines the relationship that the photographs establish between the human body and the natural world. Through a series of in-depth visual and formal analyses of his early nudes and still-lifes, I show that Weston un-animated the human body, while animating the vegetables, shells, and landscapes that he photographed. Thus, he created not a vertical hierarchy where humans are placed above the natural world, but instead created a horizontal plane where all natural forms are equalized. This approach differs from most of the pre-existing scholarship on Weston, which has long interpreted his work using either the biographical method or feminist theory, both of which serve primarily to either maintain or reject Weston‘s heroic status; this paper attempts to instead explain how the photographs themselves serve to create meaning.
Description: Submitted to the Undergraduate Library Research Award scholarship competition: (2012). 71 p.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/12205
Date: 2011-05


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