Portrait of the Artist
Members, donors, and friends of The Harry Ransom Center gathered on August 27 for a first look at the museum's fall exhibition, The Writers: Portraits by Laura Wilson. Featuring more than 150 immersive photographic portraits of some of the leading literary figures of our time, the exhibition is drawn from Wilson’s latest book, The Writers: Portraits (Yale University Press, 2022).
Wilson has published six books of photographs and text, including Avedon at Work, Grit and Glory, That Day: Picture in the American West, and From Rodin to Plensa. Her photographs have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker,Vanity Fair, and London's Sunday Times Magazine, among others.
Celebrating the exhibition opening on August 27, visitors browsed the artist's stunning photographic portraits of renowned authors such as Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, Zadie Smith, Tom Stoppard, Texas' own Larry McMurtry, Gabriel García Márquez, and many more. The power of each portrait is in its intimacy, capturing each writer in their personal setting — Smith in her kitchen, for example, or McMurtry sipping from a glass on his patio, a tall cactus in the background. The papers of many of the writers portrayed are collected at the Ransom Center.
At the director's reception, guests enjoyed light bites and custom cocktails before Harry Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss gave opening remarks. Enniss also introduced Laura Wilson, who then signed copies of her book, which contains hundreds of additional portraits.
The exhibit will be on display through January 1, 2023, and copies of The Writers: Portraits by Laura Wilsonare available for purchase at the Ransom Center gift shop. Additionally, Austinites will get a chance to celebrate the exhibit with actors Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, and Andrew Wilson on Saturday, September 24. In honor of their mom, the brothers will host a ticketed afterparty following the Celebration of Film Gala on the same evening.
Tickets to the Afterparty are $100, or are included with the purchase of a ticket to the gala, where Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep will help celebrate the Center's 65th anniversary. The star-studded evening marks a major milestone for the center and will help further its mission to deepen the understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts.