Mexico as Muse

Tina Modotti and Edward Weston
September 2, 2006–January 2, 2007

For a few exhilarating years in the 1920s, two of the major figures in 20th-century photography, Tina Modotti and Edward Weston, shared a passionate partnership with each other. They also shared an intense romance with photography and with Mexico, where they lived together from 1923 to 1926. At that time, Mexico was experiencing a period of political and social reinvigoration, and the vibrant cultural climate was both inspiration for and subject of their art. This exhibition includes some of the most significant photographs they made during their time in Mexico, pictures that count among the most memorable from each artist’s career. Their relationship also comes alive through a trove of personal letters, postcards, and small photographs recently acquired by SFMOMA.

This exhibition includes photographs and other archival materials from Tina Modotti’s personal correspondence donated by the Art Supporting Foundation, John “Launny” Steffens, Sandra Lloyd, Shawn and Brook Byers, Mr. and Mrs. George F. Jewett Jr., and anonymous donors.

Tina Modotti, Workers Demonstration, Mexico City, 1926; collection Susie Tompkins Buell

Edward Weston, Galván Shooting (Manuel Hernndez Galván, Mexico), 1924; collection SFMOMA, Albert M. Bender Collection, Albert M. Bender Bequest Fund Purchase; 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents