How the Weston was won

Allison Amick (r), Curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art speaks with Dr. Veronica Passfield, Publisher of Territory Magazine, about the Weston/Ansel exhibit. Photo by Robin Dorner.

Oklahoma Philanthropist donates gift of Weston photography to OKC Museum of Art

This unique exhibition celebrates a recent gift of 150 photographs by Brett Weston from Christian Keesee. Between 2004 and 2011, Christian Keesee has donated 360 photographs—transforming the Oklahoma City Museum of Art into a major repository of the photographer’s work.

On the Weston website, we found that in November of 1996, Oklahoma City’s own Philanthropist and art collector Christian Keesee acquired from the Brett Weston Estate the most complete body of Weston's work in existence.  The collection holds numerous vintage prints dating from as early as 1925, up through work produced shortly before he died in January of 1993, as well as rare, self-titled 'private collections' assembled by Brett Weston over six decades, that illustrate not only his range of subjects, but what he thought were examples of his finest prints.

Keesee has said, “Brett Weston was one of the true American masters of photography, yet what we know of him through his publications and exhibitions represents only a small part of what we are uncovering in this important collection. It is my goal to bring to light a great body of work that has never been exhibited or reproduced and to make the public aware of the many sides of this gifted artist.”

There also exist a number of unsigned, unmounted prints that provide a fascinating look at the exhaustive efforts Weston went to in pursuit of his art. As one of the largest and most significant collections by an individual American photographer, The Brett Weston Archive serves as a resource for museums, collectors, historians, and publishers worldwide.

This exhibition will include examples from 1940 to 1985, and consist predominantly of mud, rock, and ice abstractions, in addition to examples highlighting Brett’s travels to Baja California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Japan.

The exhibition is organized by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. It is exquisite.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosts special exhibitions drawn from throughout the world. The Museum’s collection covers a period of five centuries with strengths in American and European art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and includes a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.

“Ansel Adams: An American Perspective” and “Brett Weston: Land, Sea, and Sky, Recent Gifts from the Christian Keesee Collection” will be on display through June 1st. The OKCMOA is located at 415 Couch Dr. in Oklahoma City. Call (405) 236-3100 or visit for all event information.


Staff Report

The Gayly – April 12, 2014 @ 10:25am