Charis Wilson, Edward Weston's lover, wife and muse
Helen Charis [Ka'ris] Wilson was born into a privileged life. Her father was a famous author, who at 48, married her then 16 year-old mother. She led a carefree life, evenutally living with her grandmother and great aunt and despite winning a full scholarship at Sarah Lawrence College, her father, now divorced, forbid her to accept it. Angry and with her self-esteem at a low ebb, she enrolled in and then quit secretarial school, moved in with a painter and subsequently had a series of love affairs. You can read much more about her life by searching on the Internet on wikipedia and other sources.
Then she met Edward Weston when she was 20.
Edward Weston, Charis, 1934
Weston was 48 and married to Flora Chandler Weston, but living with photographer Sonia Noskowiak, who was also his model and lover. Flora was a member of the influential Chandler family of Los Angeles, mother of his four sons, and occasional benefactor, even though she worked as a school teacher and had no income from her wealthy family.
Edward Weston, nude, (Charis, Santa Monica) 1936
Charis posed for one of Weston's most memorable photographs. He described meeting her in his daybooks as a "tall, beautiful girl, with fine proportioned body, intelligent face, well-freckled, blue eyes, golden brown hair to shoulders—and had to meet," and later, "a new love has come into my life. . . "
They lived together and eventually married in 1939, two years afer he divorced Flora. In that same year he, with much help from Charis, he became the first photographer to win a Guggenheim Fellowship [of $2,000] with which they traveled the West. Weston became interested in younger women and they eventually separated in 1941.
Charis met and fell in love with Noel Harris, a labor activist, and she filed for divorce from Weston in 1946. She devoted her life to writing, and published her memoir, Through Another Lens, in 1999. She died on 20 November 2009 at 95.