Photography: Bonfire of The Rarities

Bonfire of The Rarities

Most artists consider the destruction of their work a tragedy. Photographer Brett Weston has always considered it a necessity. Best known for haunting semi-abstract nature studies in the tradition of his famous father Edward, Weston vowed for years to destroy his negatives so that others could not make new prints from them after his death.

On his 80th birthday last week, Weston kept his vow. Surrounded by friends and family, he tossed hundreds of negatives into the living-room fireplace of his home in Carmel, Calif. Art historians and photography curators were horrified. The Center for Creative Photography, a photographic archive in...

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