TIME: When Edward Weston's Photography Met Walt Whitman's Prose

"L41-PH9 Woodlawn Plantation, LA" by Edward Weston

"L41-PH9 Woodlawn Plantation, LA" by Edward Weston

One of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Edward Weston, was once inspired by the poet Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Glass (sic) when he sought to capture the “real American faces and the real American places. The unusual collaboration camera about in 1941, when Weston was approached by the Limited Editions Book Club to illustrate a deluxe edition of Whitman’s work. Soon after, Weston and his wife Charis Wilson ventured on a cross-country trip traveling from California to the northeast to visit landscapes that represented middle America.