Wittliff, William D.Variant names
Award winning, Austin-based publisher, photographer, and screenwriter William D. "Bill" Wittliff is perhaps best known as the screenwriter and executive producer of the television miniseries, Lonesome Dove (1989). Mr. Wittliff and his wife Sally, are also the founding donors of the Southwestern Writers Collection (1986) and the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography (1996), both at the Albert B. Alkek Library, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.
From the description of William D. "Bill" Wittliff Papers, 1968-1995. (Texas State University-San Marcos). WorldCat record id: 50510708
Bill Wittliff was born in Taft, a small town in south Texas, in 1940. After his parents divorced, he and his brother Jim moved with their mother to Gregory, Texas, where Mrs. Wittliff ran a small telephone office during World War II (these experiences provided the basis for "Raggedy Man," Wittliff's feature film). Later, when his mother remarried, the family moved to a ranch in Blanco, a rural community of 700 in the hill country of central Texas.
In 1964, shortly after graduating from the University of Texas, Wittliff, with his wife Sally, founded a book publishing company, The Encino Press, which specialized in regional material about Texas and the Southwest. To date, Encino has won over 100 awards for quality of design and content. The press operated out of a 19th-century Victorian house in Austin in which O. Henry once lived and wrote.
An accomplished photographer, Wittliff's photographs documenting the life of the Mexican vaquero (taken 1969-71) have been exhibited in numerous galleries and institutions throughout this country and in Mexico, including the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Texas Capitol. In Japan, they represented the United States during its bicentennial year. After twenty years, the exhibit is still shown as a traveling display in the U. S. and Mexico under the auspices of the Institute of Texan Cultures.
At 29, Wittliff was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters. He served as president during 1974-78, and sat on the Executive Council until 1990. In 1993, he was elected Fellow of the the Institute. He is a member of the historic Texas Philosophical Society, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and he served for six years on the Executive Board of Trustees of Robert Redford's Sundance Institute.
In 1985, with the donation of their lifelong collection of original manuscripts and books, Bill and Sally founded the Southwestern Writers Collection at Southwest Texas State University. Since that time the collection has grown rapidly, supported by donors from all over the country. It features original manuscripts by J. Frank Dobie, John Graves, Larry McMurtry, Walter Prescott Webb, Bud Shrake, Larry L. King, Horton Foote, Preston Jones, Sam Shepard, Willie Nelson, and many others. It also includes paintings by numerous regional artists including William Lester, Tom Lea, John Groth, Jerry Bywaters, Kermit Oliver, Robert Wade. Expanding the scope of the current facility, in 1996 the Wittliffs endowed the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography which already includes works by Russell Lee, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Ansel Adams, Keith Carter, Henri Cartier Bresson, Lola Bravo, Laura Gilpin, Edward Weston, Graciela Iturbide, Edward Curtis, Nacho Lopez, Erwin E. Smith, Marco Antonio Cruz, Jim Bones, Paul Strand, Mariana Yampolsky, and many others. Both collections are housed in eight specially designed rooms and a large, chambered gallery on the top floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library on the university campus.
The Wittliffs have two grown children and live in Austin, Texas.
From the guide to the Bill Wittliff Papers, 1968-1995, (Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Sierra Madre del Sur (Mexico)|
|El Paso (Tex.)|
|Authors, American--20th century--Sources|
|Literature and photography|
|Cities and towns--Drama|
|Authors and publishers--History--20th century|
|Motion picture authorship|
|Western television programs|