The two moved with equal ease through the literary and artistic circles of London and the continent as well as their families' Midwestern homes. That their relationship thrived is notable enough. But 1927 brought a new challenge to their pairing. High-school student George Platt Lynes fell passionately in love with the strikingly good-looking Wheeler. And Wheeler, for his part, was entranced by Lynes's "full, luscious mouth and his wasplike waist." Instead of driving a wedge between Wescott and Wheeler, as might be expected, Lynes soon became part of their shared life. When, after some casting about, he hit upon photography, the two nurtured his career and used their considerable connections to get him both work and gallery shows.
When We Were Three presents photographs the trio took as they traveled the world together during the late '20s and '30s. They are the subjects of many of the images, but the Great Wall of China, an Egyptian sphinx, and their numerous friends--including Stein, Cocteau, Thornton Wilder, and Katherine Anne Porter--are captured, too. Oddly, the subject, date, and location of each photograph are carefully documented, but the photographer is not. Some of the earliest-known Lyne images are here, but it is the biographical essay by Anatole Pohorilenko in the front of the book that calls this out. Still, with its high production value and informative essays by Pohorilenko and James Crump, the book is an enjoyable choice for those interested in early-20th-century photography and the lifestyle of the legendary 1930s American expatriate in Europe. --Jordana Moskowitz
Publisher: Arena Editions
Hardcover : 299 pages