Inspiring women: Charis Wilson

There's something about the term "muse" I find contemptible. I think the term glosses over the complex and collaborative role a man or woman can play when supporting or inspiring the work of another. Very little is created in a solitary vacuum, after all, and most of us reply on feedback, inspiration, brainstorming and reassurance from a trusted confidante. Put this way, the term "muse" starts to seem belittling and objectifying, aloof and uninvolved.

Charis Wilson's role in Edward Weston's photography and life is case in point. She was so much more than a model for his photographs. "During their 11 years together, Ms. Wilson wrote the grant application that earned Weston a Guggenheim Fellowship — he was the first photographer to receive one — and she drove the car during his explorations of the West. Mr. [Arthur] Ollman credited Ms. Wilson with actually writing the articles for photography magazines that were attributed to him." (NYT Obituary)

Book: Through Another Lens: My Years With Edward Weston

Image of Charis Wilson by Edward Weston via
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