born on January 30, 1919 in Los Angeles, was the fourth and youngest son
of famed 20th Century photographer, Edward Henry Weston. Cole received
his first camera, a 4 by 5 Autograflex, from his brother Brett in 1935.
Cole graduated with a degree in theater arts from the Cornish School in
Seattle in 1937 and then served in the Navy during World War II as a
welder and photographer. After his discharge from the Navy in 1945 Cole
worked for Life Magazine. In 1946 he moved to Carmel to assist his
father Edward. During this time Eastman Kodak started sending their new
color film, Kodachrome, for Edward to try out. Cole took this
opportunity to experiment with this new medium and eventually became one
of the world’s great masters of fine art color photography.
In 1957 Cole began shooting his first color photographs of the
magnificent Big Sur coast, Monterey Peninsula and central California. At
this time he carried on his own portrait business while assisting his
ailing father, who passed away in 1958. Edward had authorized Cole to
print from Edward’s negatives after his death, so Cole continued
printing Edward’s work while pursuing his own fine art photography.
In 1975 Cole began lecturing and conducting workshops on his father’s
photography as well as his own. With his work in the theater arts Cole
was a natural when it came to teaching and lecturing and his many
students still comment on what a great workshop he gave. He traveled
throughout the United States, England, Europe, Russia, Mexico, New
Zealand and the South Pacific photographing and inspiring others with
his characteristic enthusiasm and charm.
In 1988 after three decades devoted to printing his father’s work, Cole
at last set aside his responsibility to Edward’s legacy and refocused on
his own photography. Cole had his first solo exhibition in San Francisco
in 1971. Since then, his work has been featured in more than sixty
exhibitions worldwide and has been collected by museums throughout the
United States and Europe. His work has been featured in numerous gallery
shows and publications with three monographs and numerous articles
having been published on his exquisite photography. Michael Hoffman from
Aperture Publications once quoted, “In the history of photography there
are but a few masters of color photography, Cole Weston is assuredly one
of these masters of the medium whose dramatic powerful images are a
source of great joy and pleasure”. Cole passed away from natural causes
on April 20th, 2003.
Like Cole, who once carried on the legacy of his father’s photography,
his children have decided, as a tribute to their father, to carry on
printing and to offer Trust prints of Cole’s fine color photographs. Cole
Weston was a dedicated artist and master of fine photography. Hopefully
the availability of modern prints will make it possible for photographic
enthusiasts everywhere to continue to enjoy his life’s work.