This past weekend, my wife and I watched our favorite movie again, Lonesome Dove, which was actually a miniseries for television that originally aired in 1989. This was the first time in about ten years to see it. It had been long enough for us both to forget a few scenes and some dialogue. I was hoping Gus might make it this time, but it ended the same as it always does. Maybe some day...
Afterward, I got out a book that Bill Wittliff put together a few years ago called A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove (University of Texas Press, 2007). We got to see Wittliff at the Brazos Bookstore in Houston in 2007 when the book first came out. He autographed a copy for us and it is the centerpiece of our Western bookshelf.
What can I say about this book. It's gorgeous! You don't have to like Lonesome Dove to appreciate the fine photography from Bill Wittliff (but it would enhance your appreciation), who adapted the screenplay from Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize winning novel. But if you are a Lonesome Dove fan, you should consider adding this book to your library if you haven't already done so.
Larry McMurtry wrote a nice Foreword for the book. Texas writer, Stephen Harrigan, wrote the Introduction, and Bill Wittliff contributed the Afterword, with interesting and humorous anecdotes about the production of Lonesome Dove, as well as the photographs that comprise this book.
The photographs are in sepia tone and many have the appearance of something out of an old history of period images. Wittliff shot these photos during the filming of the miniseries and they are simply elegant and beautiful works of art.
Bill Wittliff has worn many artistically creative hats as book designer, writer, photographer, and publisher. Harrigan writes in the Introduction that photography was Wittliff's first love and it shows in all the photos. Here are just a few to give you an idea.