AUSTIN, Texas—Austin philanthropists and University of Texas at Austin donors Bill and Bettye Nowlin have given the University of Texas Press $500,000 to create the William and Bettye Nowlin Series, an endowed series that will support the publication of books on art and art history of the Western hemisphere, general history of the Western hemisphere, photography and archaeology of the Western world.
The Nowlins’ gift, the largest in UT Press history and one of the largest gifts ever given to a university publisher, will allow the Press to maintain its prominence in Pre-Columbian studies and expand its growing programs in the fields of art, art history and photography.
“We are very grateful to the Nowlins for this generous gift,” said Joanna Hitchcock, director of the UT Press. “The series will transform our programs in the broad areas that it covers and should advance us to the top of these fields, turning us, we hope, into one of the best publishers in the country in art, photography and archaeology of the Western hemisphere."
Widely known for its archaeology program, most notably on the Maya and Pre-Columbian civilizations, the UT Press has a growing photography list that includes some of the best photographers of Texas and Latin America, including Bill Wittliff, Keith Carter, Laura Wilson, Mariana Yampolsky, and most recently Graciela Iturbide.
The UT Press’ burgeoning art list also emphasizes the art of Texas and Latin America and includes books on Wifredo Lam, Terry Allen, Julie Speed and James Surls.
“The Nowlins’ gift will enable us to compete for the very best work and publish it according to the highest standards of design and production,” Hitchcock added.
The $500,000 gift to the UT Press is “a significant amount within the university press world,” said Brenna McLaughlin, communications manager for the Association of American University Presses. While some academic presses have received gifts of $1 million, “such amounts are extremely rare,” McLaughlin said. The largest gift to the UT Press previously was $200,000.
The series will be introduced next fall with the publication of two books, one on the origins of the Maya calendar and the other on Teotihuacan, an ancient Aztec city.