Laura Wilson (photographer)

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Laura Wilson
Laura Wilson 2015.jpg
Wilson at the 2015 Texas Book Festival
Born Laura Cunningham
Occupation Photographer
Nationality American
Years active 1980–present
Spouse Robert Wilson
Children Andrew Wilson
Owen Wilson
Luke Wilson

Laura Cunningham Wilson (born 1939) is an American photographer. Her photographs have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, Wallpaper, Washington Post Magazine,[1] and London's Sunday Times Magazine. She has completed five books of photography and text: Watt Matthews of Lambshead (1989), Hutterites of Montana (2000), Avedon at Work: In the American West (2003), Grit and Glory: Six-Man Football (2003) and That Day: Pictures in the American West (2015).

Life and work[edit]

Wilson was born Laura Cunningham and raised in Massachusetts, the daughter of Rosemary (née White) and Edward J. Cunningham.[2]

She has completed five books of photography and text. Watt Matthews of Lambshead (1989) is a photographic essay about one of the last Texas cattlemen. In Matthews' obituary, The New York Times wrote that the book has become “a classic of Texas history.”[3] Hutterites of Montana (2000) documents the Hutterite communities of the American west.[4] Avedon at Work: In the American West (2003) is a portrait of photographer Richard Avedon (for whom Wilson worked as an assistant) showing his creative process, working methods, and range of subjects as he worked to complete In the American West.[5] Grit and Glory: Six-Man Football (2003) documents six-man football and its culture in small Texas towns.[6] That Day: Pictures in the American West (2015) photographs in the American west accompanied by Wilson's observations at the time each photograph was taken. Larry McMurtry wrote, "Laura Wilson has an ever-searching eye for the bleak beauty of the west- and for it's bleak reality too. That Day is a remarkable book."

Wilson has lectured on photography at Harvard University, the International Center of Photography in New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art[7] and the University of Texas at Austin.[8]

She is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters[9] and the Philosophical Society of Texas.[10] She serves on the board of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson lives in Dallas, Texas and is the mother of actors Andrew, Owen, and Luke, and grandparents to four grandchildren through Andrew and Owen.[2] She was married to director Robert A. Wilson, until his death of Alzheimer's disease on May 5, 2017.



In September 2005, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas mounted an exhibition of Wilson's photographs from Avedon at Work.[12]

Photographs from the book Grit & Glory were exhibited in the Meadows Museum of Southern Methodist University in 2011.[6][13]

That Day: Laura Wilson was presented at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art from September 5, 2015 – February 14, 2016.[14]


  1. ^ "About Laura Wilson", within "November architecture events", Dallas Architecture Forum, November 9, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "At 93, Rosemary Cunningham, Norwell resident", Boston Herald, July 24, 2002, (Subscription required (help)) 
  3. ^ Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. (April 21, 1997), "Watkins Matthews, Rancher From Bygone Era, Dies at 98", The New York Times .
  4. ^ Koop, P. A. (March 22, 2001), "Hutterites of Montana. (Book Reviews)", Utopian Studies, (Subscription required (help)) .
  5. ^ "Saving Face: Laura Wilson's new book, 'Avedon at Work'", Variety, March 28, 2008, (Subscription required (help)) .
  6. ^ a b Exhibition notice for Grit and Glory, Southern Methodist University. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "From the archives: Richard Avedon Artist Talk". Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "'Laura Wilson in the American West: A Conversation with Richard Avedon' A free, public event, Jessen Auditorium, Wednesday, Nov. 19". Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Newsletter, February 2005, Texas Institute of Letters Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The Clements Center's Advisors", 2010–2011 report, William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, p.36. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  12. ^ "Deromanticizing the West: The Portraits of Richard Avedon", USA Today, December 1, 2005, (Subscription required (help)) .
  13. ^ Granberry, Michael (February 1, 2011), "Not to be left out, galleries and museums offer their own rare "art" of Super Bowl", The Dallas Morning News .
  14. ^ "That Day: Laura Wilson | Amon Carter Museum of American Art". Retrieved 2016-03-10. 

External links[edit]