Burton Wilson: What He Saw

View a Portion of the Exhibit Online

View Photos From the Event


The South Austin Popular Culture Center takes special pleasure in announcing the next exhibit: Burton Wilson’s Photographs.  Born in 1919, in Vermont, Burton Wilson attended the Rhode Island School of Design and later moved to Dallas. After serving in the US Army during World War II, Burton returned to Texas, landing in Austin. In the Sixties, he went back to school at UT, taking classes from photography pioneer Russell Lee. In 1967 Burton’s son, Minor, introduced Burton to his friend, Houston White, who was a partner in the Vulcan Gas Company music venue….and a long relationship with music began.  Burton was interested in blues and jazz and the Vulcan was booking acts like Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton, Lightning Hopkins and Big Joe Williams.  The Lavender Hill Express, the Conqueroo, Shiva’s Headband, the Fugs and the Velvet Underground were some of the “modern” bands booked to play there.  Burton photographed them all.  After the Vulcan closed in spring of 1970, Burton met Eddie Wilson and arranged to document the musical performances at that groundbreaking music venue.  Burton also photographed musicians at the Black Queen, Castle Creek, Antone’s, The Chequered Flag and Soap Creek Saloon.  Captured in this exhibit are examples of Burton Wilson’s photography from 1964 to 1994….from landscapes shot during a class with Ansel Adams to central Texas rodeos, small towns and beauty pageants….and the musicians.  You’ll see familiar photographs and some never seen.

SouthPop is grateful to Minor Wilson for allowing access to Burton’s negatives.  A grouping of over 350 images have been digitized for use in this exhibit and for the Center’s digital archive of photographs documenting Austin’s unique culture.

Set to be in display through September 30th, this exhibit will open Saturday July 27th with a special reception starting at 7:09pm.  Live music will add to the festivity and the admission is free. Donations are accepted!

For more information, contact the Center at 512-440-8318 or by email samopc@gmail.com

Thanks to the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division for providing funding that, in part, funds the Center’s exhibits.

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