When photos speak

Photographs showing the diversity of Texas ranching life, from cowboys to cooks to preachers on exhibit at The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. The groundbreaking archive captures the faces and dignity of work of a bygone way of life.

A recent interview event at The Wittliff celebrated and honored the photographer and coastal region rancher who documented them — Louise O’Connor.

The photographs are large scale, colorful and vibrant, dominating the gallery in way rarely seen.  But the event – attended by some 200 guests – came truly alive when the disembodied voices of the ranch hands were played in the room. Their oral histories made even more profound and breathtaking when considering family members and descendants in the room who came to listen to Texas Monthly writer John Spong interview O’Connor.

QR codes placed near the dozens of photos on the wall allow visitors to engage with the subject at their own pace in a multi-media way on their smartphones. The voices and stories are riveting and represent only a fraction of the oral history in the collection at The Wittliff.

For those who couldn’t attend the December 4 event, here is a slideshow of what they missed. 

The O’Connor event was live-streamed and the video may be watched here.

Cryin’ For Daylight Event video

For more information about the collection and for possible interview possibilities with the photographer and staff contact The Wittliff’s Marketing & Promotion Coordinator at markw@txstate.edu

The exhibit runs through January 8th.