The model and muse to Edward Weston:
"He had been the master of the close-up of body parts," Ollman said of Weston. In "Dunes, Oceano," however, "the model is moving in space, there is no horizon line. It was a breakthrough for him, largely because of Charis' spontaneity. Her uninhibited style gave Weston a freedom that was vitalizing to him," [said Arthur Ollman, director of the School of Art, Design and Art History at San Diego State.]Ah, so it's one of those stories about a husband and wife. And then it was one of these stories: "She fell from her place as 'exalted goddess to the more human, unenviable and inglorious role of helpmate and art wife." Oh? Is it so unenviable to be a "helpmate"? Would you want to be a helpmate to a great artist whom you dearly loved? And what exactly does an "art wife" do? Are we supposed to have a stereotype in our heads about that? I suppose — I would suppose if I were writing a roman à clef — that she thought of herself as a great artist and found the subordination irksome. Look at the photograph again and see the subordination.
Weston was aware of a change in his style. "The first nudes of C. were easily amongst the finest I had done, perhaps the finest," he wrote in his daybook in April 1934....
The 28-year age difference between Wilson and Weston gave their romance "a Bohemian, May to December quality," photography dealer and historian Stephen White said in a 2007 interview with the Los Angeles Times. "Charis brought an essence of youth, when Weston was starting to wear out."
Soon after they met in Carmel in 1934, she began to pour her writing talents into advancing his career. Along with editing his articles for Camera Craft magazine, she wrote some of them under his name, she recalled in her memoir. "My goal was to make the articles sound exactly like Edward Weston," Wilson wrote.
"She did write under his name," Ollman confirmed. "It was easy for her and slavishly hard for him."
Wilson left Weston in 1945. The following year she married a labor activist. First a photographer and then a labor activist. You're left to imagine the precise nature of Wilson's taste in men.