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Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

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Ram Prakash Singh with His Elephant, Shyama,  Great Golden Circus, Ahmedabad, India, 1990,  Mary Ellen Mark


Photographs from Mexico and India

More than 90 images by renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark include many that explore the fundamental, intimate working relationships between people and animals in two countries half a world apart. Mark has been taking uniquely sensitive and expressive images of people around the world for nearly 50 years. The title for this exhibition and the new Wittliff Collections’ publication, Man and Beast, was inspired by a dominant theme of Mark’s oeuvre: the relationships between people and animals, including, as Mark writes, “the anthropomorphic quality of animals and the animalistic quality of man.” Many of the people represented in this exhibition are performers and trainers with various itinerant circuses in Mexico and India. All gelatin silver darkroom prints are part of the Wittliff's permanent collection and featured in the Wittliff photography series book of the same name published by the University of Texas Press.

APRIL 27, 2014, 2:00 PM
Mary Ellen Mark was the special guest for our Man and Beast exhibition reception and book launch. Did you miss it? WATCH THE VIDEO of the Man and Beast exhibition talk at the Wittliff on April 27, 2014.

PURCHASE THE BOOK, Man and Beast, signed by Mary Ellen Mark, from the Wittliff Collections online shop.


[above] Ram Prakash Singh with His Elephant, Shyama, Great Golden Circus, Ahmedabad, India, © 1990, Mary Ellen Mark

Medicine Bottles, © 2012, photogram by David Johndrow

APRIL 12 – DECEMBER 7, 2014

COMING TO LIGHT  Recent Acquisitions

This exhibition features works from 42 internationally acclaimed and emerging photographers, recently acquired and shown by the Wittliff Collections for the first time. Coming to Light ranges from portraiture and the Southwest’s natural and invented landscapes to themes related to Mexico’s history, beauty, and cultural impact upon the United States. The photographic processes represented are just as diverse, among them are tintypes, gelatin silver prints, chromogenic prints, and archival pigment prints. Works of note include Missing #1, a photo installation by Kathy Vargas, the modern masterpiece Instrumental by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, an alien figure in Lobby, Roswell by Rocky Schenck, and Murder by Execution, a historical image by Robert Runyon depicting the horrors of the Mexican Revolution.

Kate Breakey, Keith Carter, Lee Friedlander, Graciela Iturbide, Richard Misrach, Geoff Winningham, and Mariana Yampolsky are just a few of the other luminaries whose work is on display. Also on view are the Wittliff's first acquisitions of prints by such exceptional photographers as Mark Klett, Norman Mauskopf, Wyatt McSpadden, Al Rendon, Holly Reed, and Amanda Smith. Coming to Light offers an exciting opportunity to witness the ways in which the Wittliff's dynamic collection is growing and to reflect on how the medium of photography has inspired artists to revisit traditional processes as well as create unique works. 

Yolanda Andrade  |  Frank Armstrong   |   Jayne Hinds Bidaut   |   Tami Bone  |  Jim Bones   |   Byron Brauchli   |  Manuel Álvarez Bravo  |  Kate Breakey   |  Laura Pickett Calfee  |  Keith Carter   |  J.B. Colson   |  Marco Antonio Cruz  |  Dennis Darling  |  Faustinus Deraet  |   Lee Friedlander  |  Jesse Herrera  |  Graciela Iturbide  |  David Johndrow  |  Mark Klett |  Luis Márquez   |  Norman Mauskopf  |  Wyatt McSpadden  |  Pedro Meyer  |  Richard Misrach   |  Rodrigo Moya  |  Michael O’Brien  |   Holly Reed  |  Al Rendon  |  Jeff Rowe   |  Robert Runyon  |  Josephine Sacabo  |  Joel Salcido  |  Rocky Schenck   |  Amanda Smith  |  Jack Spencer   |   Antonio Turok  |  Kathy Vargas  |   Jeff Wilson   |  Geoff Winningham   |  Bill Wittliff  |  Bill Wright  |  Mariana Yampolsky

[above] Medicine Bottles, © 2012, David Johndrow, archival pigment print from cyanotype photogram

Cormac McCarthy by Bill Wittliff

CORMAC McCARTHY  Unveiling a Literary Legend

Acclaimed as one of America’s most powerful writers, Cormac McCarthy has crafted some of the finest novels of our time, including All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, and The Road, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. The Wittliff Collections draws from its extensive archive of McCarthy materials to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the meticulous creative process of this world-renowned author. The Cormac McCarthy: Unveiling a Literary Legend exhibition will be celebrated with a reception and performance by Peter Josyph at 6:30 pm on September 18:

PETER JOSYPH: Cormac McCarthy’s House
Talk + Performance + Book SigningCover of Cormac McCarthy's House by Peter Josyph
New York-based writer, artist, actor, and filmmaker Peter Josyph left audiences spellbound when he last performed at the Wittliff Collections in 2010 as the keynote speaker for the Cormac McCarthy Society. Since then,the Wittliff published Josyph's book Cormac McCarthy’s House: Reading McCarthy Without Walls in its literary series with the University of Texas Press. To celebrate his book and the Wittliff's fall archives exhibition, Cormac McCarthy: Unveiling a Literary Legend, Josyph returns to dazzle and inform audiences seeking to understand the spirit of Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy. Josyph’s books will be for sale at the event courtesy of the University Bookstore, and he will sign books after the program.

[above] Cormac McCarthy, © 1987, Bill Wittliff

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



JANUARY 12 – MAY 15, 2014
      Portraits by MICHAEL O
      Stories by ELIZABETH O'BRIEN 

We are proud to present our first solo exhibition of images by one of America’s premier portrait photographers. In this series, based on his latest book from the University of Texas Press, MICHAEL O'BRIEN celebrates the individuality and independent spirit of Texans—from ordinary folk to the rich and famous, including those born here and those who eventually made Texas home. For his new edition of The Face of Texas, O’Brien has added portraits and updated photographs of people from the first edition. Writer and former Life reporter ELIZABETH O'BRIEN offers insightful verbal vignettes for the new portraits and also brings us up-to-date with the lives of the rest of the subjects. Each of the 48 portraits in this exhibition are accompanied by her narrative about the person. This winning combination of images and stories about a fascinating, eclectic mix of Texans is a fitting homage to our unique state.

JANUARY 25 we'll host a free public program and exhibition reception with Michael and Elizabeth O'Brien. Watch the Events page for info.

[above] Cover of the new edition of The Face of Texas, photographs by Michael O'Brien, features his latest portrait of Willie Nelson, © 1999, on view in the exhibition.

The Golden Dawn & The Thingies, 1967, Gilbert Shelton

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

Poster artists visually defined the sound and culture of Austin just as the city was establishing itself as one of the most vital music scenes in the country. More than 130 vintage pieces from the Wittliff Collections’ poster archives document this history and testify to Texas artists’ mastery of the poster form. Watch the Events page for free programs based on this exhibition, including a launch party for the publication of the accompanying catalog on March 1, 2015.

MARCH 1 we'll host a free public program and exhibition reception with special guests. Watch the Events page for info.

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

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

Showcasing the vibrant Texas Music archives at the Wittliff Collections, this exhibition presents handwritten lyrics, photographs, and memorabilia from Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, the Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin City Limits, and much more from the breakout years of the Austin music scene.

APRIL 19 we'll host a free public program and exhibition reception with special guests. Watch the Events page for info.

[above] Detail of poster for Armadillo World Headquarters,© Michael Priest