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Revealing Character

Tom "Stretch" Bowerman, XI Ranch, Texas, © 2003 by Robb Kendrick

FEBRUARY 25 – JULY 31, 2011

In 2004, Frost Bank commissioned photographer Robb Kendrick to drive through 18,000 miles of Texas, visiting 39 ranches and taking the portraits of cowboys and cowgirls, not as Kendrick says, “to romanticize the cowboy…but to document those who still carry on the traditions, values, and lifestyles that many today would find isolating, lonely, or simply too hard.” He documented them the old-fashioned way: with tintypes. In 2009, Kendrick and Frost Bank donated 32 original tintypes and 12 archival lightjet prints from this series, titled Revealing Character, to the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos, completing the Wittliff’s archive of images published in Kendrick’s Revealing Character monograph. Now over 120 of Kendrick’s images are on display, including some of his more recent works.

Invented in the mid 1800s, tintypes are made directly on a thin iron plate that has been coated with chemicals, exposed in a camera while still wet, and developed on the spot. Kendrick is one of only a few photographers in the U.S. making tintypes, using this historic wet-plate method. Each tintype he produces is one of a kind, handmade from start to finish.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO of the Revealing Character exhibition talk at the Wittliff on April 9, 2011.

[above]  Tom "Stretch" Bowerman, XI Ranch, Texas, © 2003 by Robb Kendrick