There’s at least one thing in common between Edward Weston, the great modernist photographer, and Walt Whitman, the proto-modernist Romantic poet: They both can feel a bit overripe. In 1941, however, when Weston was asked to illustrate Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” it brought out the best in both. Westman’s images, more four-square than usual, feel as committed to the American scenes they show as to how they look as photos; the poems also seem to care about those scenes, now that America’s set plain before our eyes, and seem less caught up in the words used to describe them. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is soon to launch a show of the Weston/Whitman project’s images and outtakes, and I’ve compiled a selection of them at TheDailyBeast.com.
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