April 23, 2007
There’s a wealth of terrific photography shows in the city’s museums and galleries right now, but they’ll have tough competition this week from the sprawling exhibitions that auction houses mount in advance of their spring sales. Every house has something to brag about—a virtual Horst retrospective at Christie’s, “27 Exceptional Photographs” at Phillips—but Sotheby’s exhibition of works from the collection of Margaret Weston promises to be the smartest show in town. Weston, who opened her Carmel, California, gallery in 1975, shortly after her divorce from Edward Weston’s son Cole and long before there was an active market for her wares, is not merely a connoisseur. Her collection is full of extraordinary images by Weston, Cunningham, Evans, Man Ray, and other modernist masters, but it ranges marvellously wide, embracing everything from Carleton Watkins’s log-cabin landscape to Wanda Wulz’s Futurist still-life. Unlike many contemporary collections, Weston’s is not just savvy; it’s soulful—and bracingly, pointedly idiosyncratic.