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Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather, and the Bohemians of Los Angeles [Hardcover]

Beth Gates Warren

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Book Description

Nov. 8 2011

This captivating biography reveals the previously untold love story of Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather. Both were photographic artists at the center of the bohemian cultural scene in Los Angeles during the 1910s and 1920s, yet Weston would become a major Modernist photographer while Mather, who Weston ultimately expunged from his journals, would fall into obscurity. The book reveals how they and their entourage sought out the limelight as the Hollywood film industry came of age. 

Based on ten years of research and illustrated with extraordinary images, some never published, this history has a captivating range of characters, including Charlie Chaplin, Imogen Cunningham, Max Eastman, Emma Goldman, Tina Modotti, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Carl Sandburg. The lively text brings to life the ambiance of this exciting time in Los Angeles history as well as its darker side. Artful Lives exceeds any previously published account of this key period in Weston’s development and reveals Mather’s important contribution to it, making it an essential reference in Weston studies.

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“A rehabilitation of an unjustly forgotten photographer, this absorbing read will appeal to students of art and California.”—Library Journal

“An illuminating insight into both the creative process and into the lives of a group of people influential in creating the cultural world in which we still live today.”—Photographica World

“A meticulously insightful account of the decade of collaboration between southern California photographers Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather, an interval little examined by art historians.”—College & Research Library News

“In Artful Lives, Beth Gates Warren recaptures the milieu that formed both [Edward Weston and Margarethe Mather], and restores Margarethe Mather’s unique accomplishment to the position it deserves.”—Times Literary Supplement

“Beth Gates Warren succeeds in bringing [Mather] out of obscurity and making a persuasive case for her photographic talent.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“This well-researched biography uncovers the story of Edward Weston’s early career years in Los Angeles, his partnership with fellow photographer Margarethe Mather, and their artistic community.”—Photo Life

“One of the more hidebound notions about American art is that modern art photography was strictly an East Coast phenomenon, and that Los Angeles represented a cultural backwater. Last fall’s publication of Artful Lives, Beth Gates Warren’s groundbreaking study of Edward Weston and Margarethe Mather, thoroughly debunks this falsehood.”—Glendale News Press

“Author Beth Gates Warren, a former director of Sotheby’s photo department, has written her exhaustively researched book with the page-turning pace of a novel. Her prose has as much love for its young, sexy and messy principals as it does for the city in which they lived.”—PureWow

About the Author

Beth Gates Warren is an independent scholar and consultant in the field of fine art photography and the author of Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston: A Passionate Collaboration (W. W. Norton, 2001), which accompanied an exhibition she curated for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating book with wide appeal Nov. 9 2011
By applestoapples - Published on Amazon.com
As a reader of Warren's previously published - exquisitely crafted and beautifully written - book on Weston and Mather, Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston: A Passionate Collaboration, I was anxious to know more about the two photographers and their place in the wider circle of artists of their time. Warren's excellent writing and extensive scholarship in "Artful Lives" will be of interest to those intrigued by Weston and/or Mather, the art of photography, or in what surely must be the most exhilarating period of time in Los Angeles' history. Though Warren's books are grounded in solid research and scholarship, her writing and the sheer beauty of her books make them of interest to a broad range of readers - experts and general readers alike.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Weston Feb. 15 2014
By James M. Locke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The text is a moving tale of the life of Edward as that of LA's origins. I was unaware of the early start of Edwards life and his entry into the profession of photography.

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