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Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

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Tres Amigos © Tom Foster

JUNE 1 – JULY 25, 2015
TPS 24: The International Competition 
The Wittliff Collections are proud to collaborate with Texas Photographic Society to present the winning work from their 24th International Competition. Juried by Dr. David L. Coleman, Wittliff Collections Director, the exhibition presents 50 images from 49 Texas Photographic Society members. 

JUNE 6 the Wittliff Collections and Texas Photographic Society will host an exhibition reception with many artists in attendance. See TPS 24 events page for more details. 

[above] Tres Amigas, © Thomas Foster, First Place 

Detail of poster for Armadillo World Headquarters, ©1980, by Micael Priest

FEBRUARY 9 – JULY 3, 2015
ARMADILLO RISING  Austin’s Music Scene in the 1970s

In the early 1970s the Armadillo World Headquarters became the cosmic capital of Austin’s burgeoning music scene, sparking the rise of a uniquely Texas blend of rock, country, and blues that transformed American music. The Wittliff Collections new exhibition, Armadillo Rising: Austin’s Music Scene in the 1970s, tells the story of a city that blossomed into “the live music capital of the world.”

Armadillo Rising showcases many treasures from the Wittliff’s extensive Texas Music archives, including handwritten song lyrics by Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker along with signed guitars from both men. Also on display are rare sound recordings, photographs and memorabilia that whisk viewers back to Austin’s heady past. Selections from the Austin City Limits archive, donated by ACL founder Bill Arhos are featured along with materials from the Armadillo World Headquarters. Pop culture keepsakes from the Wittliff's newly acquired collection of Jerry Retzloff highlight the connections between Lone Star longnecks and Texas's musical culture.

Rounding out the display are interviews, photographs, and mementos from the collections of Wittliff authors who’ve written expertly about Texas music: Joe Nick Patoski (author of biographies on Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan), John T. Davis (author of Austin City Limits: 25 Years of American Music), Bud Shrake (co-author of Willie Nelson’s autobiography), and Jan Reid (author of The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock.) Read more....

[above] Detail of closing-night poster for the orginal Armadillo World Headquarters, © 1980, Micael Priest

The Golden Dawn & The Thingies, 1967, Gilbert Shelton

JANUARY 12 – JULY 3, 2015
HOMEGROWN  Austin Music Posters, 1967 to 1982

Poster artists in the late sixties, seventies, and early eighties visually evoked the sound and defined the culture of Austin just as the city was establishing itself as one of the most vital music scenes in the country. More than 140 vintage pieces from the Wittliff's archive of Tom Wilmore and other generous donors document this history and testify to Texas artists’ mastery of the poster form using hand drawings and creative print techniques. Distinct generations of design are vividly illustrated—psychedelic art of the Vulcan Gas Company, early works from the Armadillo World Headquarters, an emerging variety of styles from the mid-1970s, and the radical visual aesthetic of punk—produced by such renowned artists as Gilbert Shelton, Jim Franklin, Kerry Awn, Micael Priest, Danny Garrett, Guy Juke, Ken Featherston, and NOXX. Homegrown—the title of the exhibition and the accompanying catalog, new in the Wittliff book series (University of Texas Press)—emphasizes the Texas-inspired sensibility of these vintage posters and the close-knit community of Austin artists who created them. Read Jeff Salamon’s Texas Monthly article “Flyers on the Wall” here.

[above] Poster for The Golden Dawn & The Thingies at the Vulcan Gas Company, © 1967, Gilbert Shelton

Hat Creek Outfit



Lonesome Dove was originally broadcast by CBS on February 5, 1989, drawing a huge viewing audience and earning numerous awards, including 18 Emmy® nominations and seven wins. The show won two Golden Globes, for Best Miniseries and Best Actor in a Miniseries (Robert Duvall). The film was deemed Program of the Year by the National Television Critics Association, as well as Outstanding Dramatic Achievement. It received the D.W. Griffith Award for Best Television Miniseries, and CBS was presented with a Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama.

From hats to gun belts to boots, the complete outfits of Augustus “Gus” McCrae, Jake Spoon, and Woodrow F. Call (played by Robert Duvall, Robert Urich, and Tommy Lee Jones) are just a few of the many “making of” materials the Wittliff Collections have on permanent display from the beloved miniseries based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. This exhibition from the Wittliff’s major Lonesome Dove production archive takes visitors behind the scenes of the Emmy-winning show, with a look at props and principal costumes, set designs, costume sketches and production notes, Bill Wittliff's screenplay drafts, script pages, and photographs, plus much, much more.


A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove by John SpongNOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE! 
Purchase A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove signed by screenwriter and co-executive producer Bill Wittliff, author John Spong, and archives photographer Jeff Wilson.

Purchase A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove by Bill Wittliff.

Tour the Lonesome Dove Collection online.

[above] The Hat Creek Outfit, © 1988, Bill Wittliff