These exceptional photographs by Edward Weston originally formed part of the collection of Pennsylvanian oil magnate and art patron, T. Edward Hanley.
The collection includes a number of letters and postcards written by Weston to Hanley from 1939 to 1955. The correspondence provides an invaluable insight into their association, which developed from patronage into friendship. The two men seem to have met only twice, in 1939 and around 1942, on both occasions at Weston's home in Carmel. As several of the letters attest, their business transactions were conducted almost entirely by mail, with Weston enclosing proof prints for Hanley's selection.
That Hanley had a 'good eye' is indisputable, given the quality of the works in his collection; he also devised projects for Weston. In the his only extant letter to the photographer, dated August 1946, he proposes that:
'... you consider the idea of coming back to this section of Penna. and Western New York photographing points of interest through this oil section...and architectural features through sections of Western N.Y... we at this end could work out a plan of subsidization so that you would be fully financed for the period... Last week while in Buffalo, I discussed it informally with the director of the Albright Art Gallery there...he felt that the museum would be deeply interested...and would work out a plan with you for the purchase of many photos and possibly look forward to an exhibition at the Albright Gallery of your results hereabouts...I might even get the Carnegie Museum at Pittsburgh interested.'
Their relationship continued until around 1955, well after the onset of Weston's debilitating Parkinson's Disease and when he was no longer taking photographs. His last letter to Hanley in March 1955, written two years before his death, is very poignant:
'...You would hardly believe that I have not made a photograph for seven years. Soon I'll be on the antique shelf.'
Hanley's Westons were given to Allegheny College in 1974, five years after his death, by his widow Tullah, a colorful character in her own right. A Hungarian ex-belly dancer and self-styled '12 o'clock lady in a 9 o'clock town', she became, after her marriage to Hanley in 1948, a generous benefactor to local educational programs and institutions.
Lots 89-95 may be exempt from sales tax as set forth in the sales tax notice at the back of this catalogue.