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The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to offer a third edition of Watt Matthews of Lambshead, a major work of art and an important historical document. Since the first edition was published in 1989, Laura Wilson’s chronicle of this iconic ranch has proven to be a popular and important contribution to the story of Texas. In words and especially in Wilson’s starkly beautiful images, Watt Matthews of Lambshead captures a way of life that is iconically Texan, one now only available to a vanishing number of residents of the Lone Star State, where even rural landscapes are increasingly dominated by industrial activities like high-density feedlots and oil extraction. In The 50+ Best Books on Texas (1998), A. C. Greene wrote that “[Watt] Matthews … was the last living link with all the Texas cowboy and ranch mythology and lore from the 1850s.” The ranch has continued to operate after his death in 1997, and this edition includes an afterword that details recent developments. A new foreword by Anne Wilkes Tucker, curator emeritus of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, puts the book in the context of Wilson’s career as one of the most notable photographers of the contemporary American West.
LAURA WILSON is a photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, London’s Sunday Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, and British Vogue. She lives in Dallas, Texas and is the mother of three sons, Andrew, Owen, and Luke Wilson. ANNE WILKES TUCKER is curator emeritus of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.