Last chance to see Strange Pilgrims

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Join the Visual Arts Center for the last days of the exhibition, Strange Pilgrims. The VAC will be open for special hours January 9–10 and return to regular hours January 12.

Strange Pilgrims is an exhibition organized by The Contemporary Austin and spans multiple venues that include the museum’s Jones Center and Laguna Gloria locations in addition to the Visual Arts Center.

The exhibition includes work by artists: Charles Atlas, Trisha Baga, Millie Chen, Phil Collins, Andy Coolquitt, Ayşe Erkmen, Roger Hiorns, Nancy Holt, Lakes Were Rivers, Angelbert Metoyer, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Paul Sharits, and Sofía Táboas.

Focus Group: Pilgrim’s Process
Thursday, January 21  //  7–9 p.m.

Save the Date: “Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West”

Save the date! The Harry Ransom Center opens a new exhibition Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West on August 4.

Frank Reaugh (1860–1945) is one of the Southwest’s earliest and most distinguished artists. Working in the vein of American Impressionism, Reaugh (pronounced “Ray”) devoted his career to visually documenting the immense unsettled regions of the Southwest before the turn of the twentieth century. A restless and intrepid traveler, Reaugh sketched scenes while riding with cattlemen during the height of Texas’s historic roundups, and he led annual sketch trips to some of Texas’s most spectacular and remote locations. Drawing on more than 100 artworks from the Harry Ransom Center’s collection, as well as public and private collections across the state, the exhibition showcases Reaugh’s approach to landscape painting and his mastery of the pastel medium.

Join the online conversation with the hashtag #Reaugh.

The Ransom Center is free and open to the public.

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” now open at the Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center celebrates 150 years of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with an exhibition for the curious and curiouser of all ages. Learn about Lewis Carroll and the real Alice who inspired his story. See one of the few surviving copies of the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Discover the rich array of personal and literary references that Carroll incorporated throughout Alice. Explore the surprising transformations of Alice and her story as they have traveled through time and across continents. Follow the White Rabbit’s path through the exhibition, have a tea party, or watch a 1933 paper filmstrip that has been carefully treated by Ransom Center conservators. The Center’s vast collections offer a new look at a story that has delighted generations and inspired artists from Salvador Dalí to Walt Disney.


The exhibition can be seen in the Ransom Center galleries, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. Daily public tours are offered at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.


The exhibition runs through July 6.

Now open at the Ransom Center: “The Making of Gone With The Wind”

"The Making of Gone With The Wind" is on view at the Harry Ransom Center through January 4.

“The Making of Gone With The Wind” is on view at the Harry Ransom Center through January 4.

The exhibition The Making of Gone With The Wind is on view at the Harry Ransom Center through January 4.


Go behind the scenes of one of the classic films of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Featuring more than 300 rarely seen and some never-before-exhibited materials, the exhibition is drawn entirely from the Ransom Center’s collections and includes on-set photographs, storyboards, correspondence and fan mail, production records, makeup stills, concept art, costume sketches, audition footage, and producer David O. Selznick’s memos. The green curtain dress and other gowns worn by Vivien Leigh are displayed together for the first time in more than 25 years.


Before a single frame of film was shot, Gone With The Wind was embroiled in controversy. Selznick struggled to balance his desire for authenticity with audience expectations of spectacle. Americans debated who should be cast as Rhett and Scarlett. There were serious concerns about how the 1939 film, based on the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell, would depict race, sex, and violence in the South during the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction.


This insider view reveals why Gone With The Wind remains influential and controversial 75 years after it was released.


Admission to the exhibition is free. No tickets or reservations are required. Your donation supports the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs.


The Making of Gone With The Wind can be seen starting Sept. 9 in the Ransom Center Galleries on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. Member-only hours are offered on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.


Public tours are offered every day at noon, as well as Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Selected Gone With The Wind screentests will be shown in the Ransom Center’s first-floor theater at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekends, immediately following the public tour.


A fully illustrated exhibition catalog of the same title will be co-published by the Harry Ransom Center and University of Texas Press in September with a foreword written by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host and film historian Robert Osborne. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by TCM.


Complementing the physical exhibition is the web exhibition Producing Gone With The Wind, which explores the purchase of the rights to Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With The Wind; the casting of the star actress, Vivien Leigh, as Scarlett O’Hara; and the research-intensive aesthetic work in the film related to costumes, hair, and makeup. The exhibition also gives online visitors and researchers an opportunity to search through a selection of more than 3,000 letters from the David O. Selznick collection, by individuals who sought auditions, solicited employment, and protested the production.

“The World at War, 1914–1918” exhibition opens at the Harry Ransom Center


The exhibition The World at War, 1914–1918 is on view at the Harry Ransom Center through August 3.


This exhibition marks the centenary of the start of World War I, a war that lasted four long years and killed ten million servicemen. The geo-political causes, the war’s global expansion, and the outcomes of the war are well documented. The collective personal and national trauma inflicted on all who experienced the war, however, remains relevant for a contemporary world still embroiled in conflict.


Drawing on the Ransom Center’s extensive collections, this exhibition illuminates the experience of the war from the point of view of its participants and observers, preserved through letters, drafts, and diaries; memoirs and novels; and photographs and propaganda posters. Visitors will have the opportunity to better understand the history of the war through the archives of those who witnessed it first-hand.


The World at War, 1914–1918 (University of Texas Press and the Harry Ransom Center), by exhibition curators Jean Cannon and Elizabeth Garver and with a foreword by author Stephen Harrigan, is a fully illustrated companion catalog.


Beginning February 18, free docent-led tours will be offered on Tuesdays at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. For groups larger than 10 people, please contact the Ransom Center to make arrangements for a private group tour.


For related programming, please visit the Ransom Center’s upcoming events page.

Opening today at the Harry Ransom Center: “Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age”

"Russia. Altai Territory. Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Environmentalists fear for the region's future due to the toxic rocket fuel." 2000. © Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

“Russia. Altai Territory. Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Environmentalists fear for the region’s future due to the toxic rocket fuel.” 2000. © Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

The exhibition Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age opens today at the Harry Ransom Center and will be on view through January 5.


Magnum Photos photographers have produced some of the most memorable images of the last century, shaping history and revolutionizing photography’s influence on modern culture. Founded in 1947, it was the first cooperative agency to be established and operated by photographers, thus ensuring unprecedented creative, editorial, and economic independence.


Its founders, including renowned photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David “Chim” Seymour, and George Rodger, united in their pursuit of creative freedom and their commitment to sharing their images with the world. Membership in this collective empowered photographers to document conflict and liberation, revolution and reform, while preserving their own powerfully distinct points of view.


Established during the post-war golden age of the picture magazine, Magnum has flourished despite the impact of radical technological, economic, and cultural transformations on publishing and media. When television began to take over as the dominant form of mass communication in the 1950s, Magnum photographers explored motion picture and book formats. As the editorial market continued to shrink, photographers found new audiences in museums and galleries. Over the last decade, new technologies have dramatically changed the way photographic imagery is captured, distributed, and consumed. In this new environment, Magnum photographers have kept pace, experimenting with a variety of multimedia platforms to publish their work.


Organized by Jessica S. McDonald and Roy L. Flukinger, this exhibition of approximately 300 works investigates the evolution of Magnum Photos from print photojournalism to the digital age, revealing a global cooperative in continual flux, persistently exploring new relationships between photographers, their subjects, and their viewers.


Coinciding with the exhibition is the publication of Reading Magnum: A Visual Archive of the Modern World (UT Press), edited by Steven Hoelscher, Academic Curator of Photography at the Ransom Center.


The Magnum Photos Collection resides at the Harry Ransom Center courtesy of MSD Capital, Michael and Susan Dell, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, and John and Amy Phelan.


Beginning September 17, free docent tours will be offered Tuesdays at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.


For groups larger than 10 people, please contact the Ransom Center to make arrangements for a private group tour.


The fall calendar includes many Magnum Photos-related programs, including “Boundless,” the opening celebration for the exhibition on Friday, September 20.

“Diffuse Reflection Lab” at the Visual Arts Center

LPSEach spring and fall semester the Visual Arts Center’s Vaulted Gallery is transformed by emerging national and international artists who are invited to the VAC to create new, site-specific installations. This spring, the Vaulted Gallery is filled not with paintings or photographs but a two-story structure created by Seattle-based artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, known collectively as Lead Pencil Studio.

Han and Mihalyo’s structure, titled Diffuse Reflection Lab, is a mixture of dioramas and engaging, interactive spaces—one room, modeled after a café, is filled with magazines, tables and chairs, often occupied with visitors or studying students. Drawing inspiration for their installation from the shiny newness of downtown Austin, against what they found to be an otherwise modest city fabric, and the notoriously intense Texas light, Lead Pencil Studio fills these spaces with an array of reflective surfaces and objects. Each wall, room and object is used to consider different reflective surfaces and their properties, as well as how the reflection of light informs and defines spaces.

Students from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Art and Art History and School of Architecture played a vital role in the completion of Diffuse Reflection Lab. Working alongside Lead Pencil Studio, these students enjoyed the valuable opportunity to have hands-on involvement in all aspects of the installation—from planning and development, to implementation and staging.

To gain insight into the artists’ perspective on Diffuse Reflection Lab be sure to check out the VAC’s recent artist documentary on Lead Pencil Studio.

Diffuse Reflection Lab is on view through May 11 at the Visual Arts Center.

Reserve your Ticket to the Future: “FutureLand” at the Harry Ransom Center

Join the Ransom Center for “FutureLand,” the opening celebration for the exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 14.

Guests will enjoy a Design Within Reach outdoor lounge, architecturally-inspired ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus, Toy Joy’s interactive “City of the Future,” and beverages from Austin Wine Merchant and Dripping Springs Vodka. Guests will also have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a Geddes-inspired prize package. JOIN or ORDER tickets for $20 (valet parking included). LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OPENING PARTY.

Norman Bel Geddes (1893–1958) was a designer, futurist, and urban planner who sought to transform modern American society through design and his dynamic vision of the future. When you drive on an interstate highway, attend a multimedia Broadway show, dine in a sky-high revolving restaurant, or watch a football game in an all-weather stadium, you owe a debt of gratitude to Geddes.

The exhibition showcases Geddes’s working process for both unrealized projects and completed designs using photographs and models drawn almost entirely from his extensive archive housed at the Ransom Center. Accompanying the exhibition is the book Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (Abrams).  Come “see the future” at this exploration of Geddes’s life and work. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION.

Closing Soon at the Harry Ransom Center: “The King James Bible: Its History and Influence”

Photo by Antonio Delgado.

The Harry Ransom Center’s exhibition The King James Bible: Its History and Influence closes on Sunday, July 29.

Free docent-led tours of the exhibitions are offered Tuesdays at noon, Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. through the end of the exhibition.

The galleries are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday evenings to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays. Admission is free; your donation supports the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs.

About the exhibition:
Four hundred years after its first printing, the King James translation of the Bible remains a vital work whose language permeates contemporary literature, music, and everyday speech. This exhibition tells the little-known story of one of the most widely read and printed books in the history of the English language and provides a compelling look at the history of this translation, its English-language predecessors, and the social and historical context in which it was produced.

Items from the Ransom Center’s literature, film, photography, and art collections demonstrate the King James Bible’s far-reaching influence on the arts and humanities, from John Milton to Harriet Beecher Stowe to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Norman Mailer. The King James translation’s distinctive and eloquent language has become an integral part of our culture and literature, permeating the Civil War-era writings and speeches of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, providing the title for Walker Evans and James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, and even inspiring the tattoos for Robert De Niro’s character in the film Cape Fear.

The exhibition features the most comprehensive display of Bibles and related materials in the Center’s history. Highlights include examples of modern biblically inspired design and printing, including prints by Marc Chagall, silk screens by Jacob Lawrence, and sculpture by Eric Gill.

View a list of books inspired by the exhibition.
Watch a video preview of the exhibition.
View tips and recommendations on how to care for and preserve your family Bible.
View and print a family guide for this exhibition.

The exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America opens in the galleries on Tuesday, September 11.

Come For The View: Don’t Miss American Scenery at The Blanton

You only have two weeks left to see American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting, an exhibition at the Blanton Museum of Art that the Austin American-Statesman called “impressive.”

Saranac Lake (Morning) painting

Homer Dodge Martin, Saranac Lake (Morning), ca. 1857, Oil on canvas, Private collection

The exhibition, on view now through May 13, features 116 paintings from the Hudson River School, a loose collective of artists working in upstate New York from 1825-1875, whose works comprised American’s first native artistic style.

Founded in 1825 by Thomas Cole, the Hudson River School drew its inspiration from American’s landscape. Its artists shared a spiritual awe of nature and believed in the notion that the country’s untamed wilderness reflected aspects of its national character. American Scenery investigates the group’s shared aesthetic and philosophical principles and situates the paintings in the context of nineteenth-century American values. The exhibition’s unique point of view stresses the artist’s eye, pairing and grouping paintings that explore the visual characteristics of particular sites, or that examine the subtle changes that can be observed during varied seasons, times of day, and weather conditions.

Artists included in the Hudson River School, and represented in The Blanton’s presentation, are Thomas Cole, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Asher B. Durand, Frederic Edwin Church among others. Assembled from a single private collection, this tour exhibition is organized by the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

American Scenery serves as an eastern counterpart to the exhibition, Go West! Representations of The American Frontier, featuring works from The Blanton’s celebrated C.R. Smith Collection. Organized by The Blanton, it will be on view through Sept. 23.

Plan now to attend a drop-in public tour of American Scenery at The Blanton:
Thursday, May 3 at 12:30 PM
Saturday, May 5 at 3 PM
Thursday, May 10 at 12:30 PM
Saturday, May 12 at 3 PM
Sunday, May 13 at 3 PM

Read more about these tours in The Blanton’s online calendar.