By descent to the present owners
The photograph offered here has a remarkable unbroken family provenance from the time it was made in 1927 until now. It was acquired directly from the photographer by Euliel Ballenger White, an early admirer of Weston’s work. White taught at Columbus Elementary School in Glendale, California, alongside Flora, the photographer’s first wife. Of this photograph, Weston wrote to Flora, ‘Here is print for Euliel – It is not one of the imperfect “extras” – Sorry I could not give her a choice. I have few of the shells printed.’ This photograph and the accompanying manuscript note and exhibition brochure were treasured by White and her family for nearly a century.
This photograph is accompanied not only by the manuscript note described above, but also an inscribed brochure from Brett and Edward Weston’s joint exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum (October - November 1927). Of this show, Weston wrote in his diary: ‘Brett is showing with me, and a fine showing it is. He has hung 18 prints, I have 102,—all on one line, well-spaced, and in rooms well-suited to photographs. It is the finest exhibit I have ever given, both in general appearance and in individual prints’ (Daybooks II, p. 39). According to the listing in the brochure, Weston included nine of his shell studies in that exhibition (cats. 38 – 46). A photograph by Brett Weston, 'Bay Window' (Victorian House, San Francisco) (see Lot 24) was also in White’s collection.
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