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News Release — August 6, 2009

The Lonesome Dove

Collections publish anniversary commemorative edition of
A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove by Bill Wittliff

SAN MARCOS, Texas— To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 CBS debut of the multi-award-winning miniseries Lonesome Dove, the Wittliff Collections—which are home to the film production archive—are pleased to issue a commemorative edition of A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove by Bill Wittliff. Published by the University of Texas Press in the Wittliff’s Southwestern & Mexican Photography Series, this edition features a deluxe dust jacket with new photographs of Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as a specially designed commemorative anniversary sticker. With 25,000 copies of the regular edition sold, this anniversary edition—which is limited to 5,000 copies—will surely become a collectible.

Copies of the commemorative edition of A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove signed by Bill Wittliff can be purchased by calling the Wittliff Collections office at 512.245.2313. Signed first editions are also still available. 

The large-format, 188-page book features over 100 of the toned black-and-white photographs created by Bill Wittliff—the award-winning screenwriter and co-executive producer of Lonesome Dove—which he selected from his archive of over 5,000 negatives shot on set.

A renowned fine-art photographer, Wittliff took these images during the filming, not as production stills, but with an artist’s eye. Described by Texas Monthly magazine as “landscapes of Texas myth... [that] whisk us back not just to 1988 but to the late 1870s,” 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.

Larry McMurtry, author of the Pulitzer-winning novel on which the miniseries is based, provides the foreword. The introduction, which can be read online at the UT Press website, is by Stephen Harrigan. In the afterword, Wittliff himself recounts landmark moments from the production and filming. A roster of the cast and crew completes the text.

On Permanent Display

From hats to bandanas to boots, the complete outfits of Woodrow F. Call and Augustus “Gus” McCrae (played by Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall) are just a few of the many “making of” materials on 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. Hours and directions to the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos are online at

Tour the Lonesome Dove Collection online

Bill Wittliffs Lonesome Dove photographs on view in San Antonio
Photographs from the Lonesome Dove series are part of the Wittliff Collections permanent holdings and often tour nationally. See 60 of Bill Wittliff’s images from A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove, plus Gus’s “mortal remains” and grave marker, his Colt dragoon, and the iconic painted dove from above Pumphrey’s mercantile, at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, September 19 – December 31, 2009.

Signed photographs can be purchased through the Stephen L. Clark Gallery in Austin and the Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe. Author royalties from the book’s sales support the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos.

October 17, Saturday
7:00 pm

The major event of the season celebrates the newly expanded Wittliff Collections with a reception and program highlighting their fall literary and photographic exhibitions, including the reopening of the Lonesome Dove permanent exhibition. Special guest Keith Carter will be signing his two most recent monographs from the University of Texas Press: A Certain Alchemy, the latest in the Wittliff’s Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection Book Series, and Fireflies, Carter’s photographs of children. Watch the website for further details of this exciting evening.

Alkek Library, Seventh Floor | Texas State University-San Marcos | 512.245.2313
More exhibitions and events at The Wittliff Collections.
Admission is free and open to the public.
RSVP to The Wittliff Collections or 512.245.2313