Skip to Content

SWWC Boystown exhibit both mesmerizing, disturbing

Date of release: 04/04/01

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The Southwest Texas State University Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography opened a new exhibit April 1. Boystown: La Zona de Tolerancia, which runs through September 2001, is sure to ignite conversation and intrigue for visitors.

In the mid-1970s, screenwriter and photographer, Bill Wittliff went to Boystown, the legal red-light district in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and met the working photographers who took party pictures there. With the help of friends on the border, Wittliff acquired thousands of the photographers’ negatives from 1974-75 -- discards of the souvenir business -- and preserved them for posterity.

This remarkable collection provides an opportunity for viewers to witness the mesmerizing and sometimes disturbing life of Boystown through the eyes of photographers who were an integral part of that world. The exhibit was curated by Bill Wittliff and Connie Todd, curator of the Wittliff Gallery.

Many of the photographs in the exhibit are reproduced in the book, Boystown: La Zona de Tolerancia, published by Aperture. Boystown is the fourth book in the Wittliff Gallery Series and is available at most major bookstores. The Wittliff Gallery is located on the 7th floor of the SWT Alkek Library. Call 512-245-2313 for more information.