San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 3rd, 2010
Culture, collected

High atop the Alkek Library at Texas State University, the Wittliff Collections has become a leading repository of treasured Texas and Southwestern cultural artifacts, ranging from the papers of Texas Literary Outlaws like Larry L. King, Bud Shrake and Billy Lee Brammer, to the archives of Mike Judge’s King of the Hill animated series. This season, the Collections plan a number of special exhibitions and events in addition to the permanent display of Bill Wittliff’s Lonesome Dove collection.


Cormac McCarthy: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Cormac McCarthy, portrait by Derek Sharpton

One of America’s most critically acclaimed writers, Cormac McCarthy is the author of some of the most popular novels of our time, including National Book Award-winner All the Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men, and The Road, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. McCarthy’s literary papers and related materials are held at the Wittliff Collections, and this is the first large-scale public exhibition showcasing the meticulous notes, handwritten and typed drafts, unpublished pieces, correspondence and other items that lend insight into McCarthy’s career and writing process.

EVENT: Exhibition reception featuring Peter Josyph, author of Adventures in Reading Cormac McCarthy at 6 p.m. Oct. 28. Free and Open to the Public. Please RSVP:

Revisiting Goodbye to a River: A 50-Year Anniversary
The Wittliff Collections present this exhibition in the Southwestern Writers Collection lobby in honor of the 50-year anniversary of Knopf’s publication of Goodbye to a River by John Graves. Every edition of the book ever printed is on view (it continues to remain in print), as well as a variety of materials from the Graves Papers, the author’s major archive at the Wittliff, including vintage snapshots of Graves setting out on the Brazos and the canoe paddle he used during the inspirational trip. On permanent display is a full-figure bronze statue of Graves by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and acclaimed sculptor, Patrick Oliphant, fashioned from pictures of the author taken at his ranch, Hardscrabble, by Bill Wittliff.


Eurasian Blackbird, 2002, by Kate Breakey, from the series “Small Deaths” (Black and white silver gelatin print hand colored with oils and pencils)

Painted Light: Photoworks by Kate Breakey

Kate Breakey is internationally recognized for her large-scale, richly hand-colored photographs, including “Small Deaths”, her acclaimed portrait series of birds, flowers, animals and insects. Breakey’s new exhibition at the Wittliff Collections, “Painted Light,” is the first career retrospective of her luminous work. With over 130 selections from nine suites of photographs, the show encompasses a quarter-century of prolific image-making and reveals the wide range of Breakey’s creative explorations. The Wittliff Collections hold the major archive of Breakey’s work, and this exhibition, part of FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA, celebrates her second book in the Wittliff’s Southwestern & Mexican Photography Series, published this fall by UT Press. This exhibit will be showcased in two parts. Following the current exhibition, the second selection will be available for viewing Sept. 16.

EVENT: Breakey will host an artist’s reception and book launch at 7 p.m. Nov. 6. The event, co-sponsored with Susan Crews Bailey, is free and open to the public. Please RSVP:

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