Skip Navigation

Drift Stump, North Coast

Edward Weston


Edward Weston gained international recognition early in his career with work from the portrait studio that he operated in California from 1911 to 1922. After meeting Alfred Stieglitz and other prominent modernists in New York in the early 1920s, he became disenchanted with the soft-focused Pictorialist style he had mastered so successfully. He returned to California to experiment with hard-edged, sharp-focused studies of nudes, organic forms, and landscapes, while his work became at the same time more abstract, often juxtaposing curvaceous forms with more geometric patterns. Weston was the first photographer ever to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, in 1937 (and again in 1938), at a time when he worked entirely outdoors with the limitless possibilities of the Western landscape.

In this image from 1939, made immediately following his fellowship work, the weight and ambiguous scale of the driftwood convey a sense of monumentality. The complexity of forms and surfaces is the focus of the image, and the delicate layer of fog heightens the wood’s texture, rendering it almost palpable. The strong relationship between the drift stump and the scattered pieces of wood around it unifies the composition.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver print
DATES 1939
DIMENSIONS Image: 7 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (19.1 x 24.8 cm) Mount: 13 7/8 x 15 1/2 in. (35.2 x 39.4 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Initialed and dated in graphite on mount, lower right recto, under photograph. Titled, signed and dated in graphite, center verso.
CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund and Frederick Loeser Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Edward Weston (American, 1886–1958). Drift Stump, North Coast, 1939. Gelatin silver print, Image: 7 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (19.1 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and Frederick Loeser Fund, 46.75.4. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.75.4_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 46.75.4_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email and we will assist if we can.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.