Over the course of forty years, Weston Naef served as curator at two of American’s most prestigious museums. He began his career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, then joined the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, for which he proceeded to acquire one of the world’s largest photography collections. It has been a long career distinguished by exhibitions devoted to the medium’s pioneers, including William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Gustave LeGray, Walker Evans, Eugene Atget, Dorothea Lange, Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Carleton Watkins. The preparation of a book devoted to the latter was one of the most demanding undertakings of his career. La Lettre spoke to the voluble curator over coffee one sunny Sunday morning in Chelsea.
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