Museum of the Coastal Bend presents photos from Lonesome Dove

Call with Herd, Bill Wittliff, 1988, Courtesy of the Wittliff Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos
The Museum of the Coastal Bend at Victoria College will present photographs from the mini-series “Lonesome Dove” in an exhibition that opens to the public on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. Featured are thirty photographic images taken by Bill Wittliff, screenwriter, during the 1988 filming of “Lonesome Dove.”

Aired as a television mini-series in 1989, “Lonesome Dove” captured the public’s imagination and has never let it go. Twenty-six million households watched the premiere episode and countless millions more have ridden the trail with Gus (Robert Duvall) and Call (Tommy Lee Jones) in re-runs on TV, video and DVD.

“Lonesome Dove” is a powerful tale of these two aging Texas Rangers on their epic cattle drive from the Rio Grande 2,500 miles up the trail to Montana. Author Larry McMurtry originated the “Lonesome Dove” project as a film scenario before expanding it into an epic 843-page novel eulogizing the Texas past, both factual and mythical, as represented by the cowboy. Published in June 1985, the book spent 20 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

To turn the novel into film, Bill Wittliff, who had scripted the westerns “Barbarosa” (1982) and “Red Headed Stranger” (1986), was signed to write the teleplay and serve as an executive producer. A renowned fine-art photographer as well as a screenwriter, Wittliff took thousands of photographs during the filming. Wittliff’s images are reminiscent of the nineteenth-century cowboy photographs by Erwin Smith and the western paintings of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Each image stands alone as an evocative work of art, while as a whole they provide a stunning visual summary of the entire miniseries.

The Lonesome Dove photographs are on loan from the Wittliff Collections / Texas State University - San Marcos, and are available for viewing at the Museum of the Coastal Bend through March 17, 2012, in conjunction with the museum’s exclusive exhibition, “Cattle Boom! Ranching in Victoria and the Coastal Bend, 1845 - 1929.” 

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located on the campus of Victoria College at the corner of East Red River and Ben Jordan. Admission is $3.50 for adults, $2.50 for senior citizens, and $2.00 for students ages 4 years through 8th grade. Admission is free for museum members, faculty, staff and students of Victoria College and the University of Houston - Victoria, and for children under 4 years of age.


posted on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, by Katy Long

Published: Thursday, 08 December 2011

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