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Guilty pleasure alert: We love reading about local scandals. Not so much what starlet was photographed leaving Ashton Kutcher?s house. Instead, we love poring over history--which, after all, is just gossip written down--about events such as Golden Era movie star antics or William Mulholland?s career disgrace.
Our latest fix is a new book we discovered at the Getty gift shop called Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles. It tells the story of Weston, who, before he moved to Carmel and became one of the 20th century?s most important photographers, set up a studio in Glendale. Though married with children, he started a liaison with photographer and art-world siren Margrethe Mather in 1913.
Over the next decade, they hobnobbed with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, socialist Emma Goldman, dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and Carl Sandburg, until one day when Weston burned his diary entries about Mather and moved on, never speaking to his lover and collaborator again.
Author Beth Gates Warren, a former director of Sotheby?s photo department, has written her exhaustively researched book with the page-turning pace of a novel. Her prose has as much love for its young, sexy and messy principals as it does for the city in which they lived. And lots of plates of Weston?s (and Mather?s) photographs bring these star-crossed lovers to life.
We?re picturing it as the perfect beach read.
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