It is the mother of all Arles exhibitions. The one that gave birth to everything. The 1st, that of Edward Weston. The one from 1970 at the Réattu, the legend begins! Daniel Rouvier, the director of the museum, presents it to us!
The encounter between Jerome Hill and Edward Weston and the Réattu Museum is almost a miracle and a fairy who in 1965 looked into the brand new photographic collection being collected at the Réattu museum. It is in his function as “agent” of Manitas de Plata that Lucien Clergue was brought to meet the American patron in his estate of Cassis on the occasion of an invitation for the gypsy guitarist to perform on the stage of the theater There is no chance, or the latter was particularly well oriented, that Lucien Clergue fascinated by Edward Weston meets one of his close friends in the person of Jerome Hill. How can you imagine the excitement Lucien Clergue must have felt when Jerome Hill tells him that he was Edward Weston’s pupil and friend and that he has some fabulous vintages and how to imagine the “base” of Arlésien photographer, who tells him about the current project at the Musée Réattu and who gets along with American simplicity in front of Weston prints: “Well! Take in ten and I offer them to enrich the collection. “Lucien Clergue will select in the collection Hill 10 vintage Weston made between 1926 and 1935.
Jerome Hill with his cousin Peter Beard trained in the same dynamics (he will donate 3 of his prints to the museum) attended the inauguration of the photographic department sealing a friendship that will extend beyond the death of the patron American in 1972.
In 1970, Hill allowed the Reattu Museum to enter one of the 100 copies of Edward Weston’s Fifty Years Portfolio, made in 1951, bringing the Weston collection of works from Weston to 22 works …
Finally in 1974, two years after his death and in accordance with his testamentary will, Jerome Hill donated 14 other original prints of Weston made between 1929 and 1936, the latter being the latest date attested in the correspondence between the American photographer and the collector who nevertheless continued to follow his work.
The Hill donation thus has a very special place in the museum’s collection, as it brings together men, Edward Weston and his accomplice Ansel Adams, Jerome Hill and Lucien Clergue. It shows that strong and passionate human relationships are the basis of miraculous moments that must be preserved. It is in this sense that we must understand the role of the museum and the one led in France by the Camargo Foundation and in the USA by the Jerome Foundation who believe in the creative force of man.
In July 1970, the Festival d’Arles inaugurated the First Photographic Encounters, under the direction of Lucien Clergue, Jean-Maurice Rouquette and Michel Tournier, with the exhibition Hommage à Weston, gathering 36 prints by Edward Weston, the same ones which are in the collection. In this year of the 50th anniversary of the Encounters, Sam Stourdzé wished to pay tribute to the founding father of the Rencontres, Lucien Clergue by organizing the exhibition « CLERGUE & WESTON – PREMIÈRE EXPO, PREMIÈRES ŒUVRES » for which the Réattu museum lends exceptionally its 36 Weston