University of Texas at Austin

Guy Davenport

An Inventory of His Literary File in the Photography Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Davenport, Guy, 1927-2005
Title: Guy Davenport Literary File Photography Collection
Dates: 1959-1977 (bulk 1959-1972)
Extent: 46 photographs
Abstract: The collection consists of 46 black and white photographic prints taken between 1959 and 1977 (bulk 1959-1972) including 38 by the American photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Most of these photographs are portraits of Guy Davenport and other literary notables; the other images feature many of the elements that characterize Meatyard’s body of work.
Call Number: Photography Collection PH-02665
Language: English
Access: Open for research.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Internal transfer from the Guy Davenport Papers, 2014.
Processed by: Deborah Marks, 2016

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 46 black-and-white photographic prints dating to between 1959 and 1977 (bulk 1959-1972). Primarily taken by photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American, 1925-1972), also included are works by his son, Christopher Meatyard (American, born 1955), photographer Guy Mendes (American, born 1948), and the artist Willard Franklin Midgette (American, 1937-1978). Present are a number of Meatyard portraits of Davenport and of other literary notables that were friends of both men. The remaining Meatyard photographs feature many of the elements that characterize his body of work: masks, staged settings, and the use of blur and multiple exposures to create mysterious abstract photographic images.
The photographs are arranged into two series: I. Photographs by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, 1959-1969, and II. Photographs by Others, 1968-1977. Within the first series, the photographs are loosely arranged by sitter. The second series is arranged alphabetically by photographers' surnames and then chronologically. Published titles appear in single quotation marks.
This file forms a part of the Harry Ransom Center’s Literary File Photography Collection that is comprised of photographs and albums withdrawn from the libraries and/or papers of literary figures, and generally includes photographs taken by, collected by, and/or of those figures.

Related Material

Additional materials at the Ransom Center by and about Davenport are located in the Guy Davenport Papers (MS-04979). Other photographs by Meatyard can be found in the Ralph Eugene Meatyard Photography Collection (PH-02566); Portfolio Three: The Work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard (PH-02648); the Parker Tyler Literary File Photography Collection (PH-02656, see 975:0090:0003); and the Edward Dahlberg Literary File Photography Collection (PH-02655, see 985:0009:0003).

Index Terms


Berry, Wendell, 1934- .
Kenner, Hugh.
Meatyard, Ralph Eugene, 1925-1972.
Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968.
Zukofsky, Celia Thaew.
Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978.


Authors--American--20th century.
Photographers--20th century.
Photography, Artistic--20th century.

Document Types

Black & white photographs.
Gelatin silver prints--1950-1980.
Portrait photographs.

Item List