TABLE OF CONTENTS
Robert G. Wieland Photograph Collection
An Inventory of the Collection
Robert G. "Bob" Wieland spent 25 years as an Associated Press newsman in Austin and Dallas, Texas. In the mid-1970s, he was based in the State Capitol as an audio reporter for AP Texas Sound radio news service, but carried his camera with him everywhere and made candid photos of the politicians, civil servants, reporters and capitol visitors he encountered daily.
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1949 to American parents, Wieland moved from Cuba to New York when he was three years old. His mother was an artist and his father was an airline executive. He was introduced to photography while taking a journalism class at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri, but did not own a camera until 1969 while interning at a radio news job in New York City. He kept that camera, a fixed-lens Yashica Electro 35GT for many years but replaced it for daily use with a used Leica III Model F with a screw-mount 50mm Elmar lens. He later added a 135mm Hektor lens.
While attending Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, Wieland was the anchorman and chief still photographer for an early experimental cable TV local news organization. The half-hour nightly cable newscast was illustrated with black-and-white slides developed in a bathroom and sealed into paper slide mounts with an iron. After graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, he moved to Houston, Texas to be a radio news reporter at two stations. In 1973, he was hired to be the Associated Press's audio reporter in Austin at the State Capitol, but he took his passion for photography with him, taking photos of the politicians, civil servants, reporters and Capitol visitors that he encountered. He was tutored by AP photographer Ted Powers. Since the AP had a fulltime staff photographer, only a few of Wieland's pictures were ever transmitted over the AP wire. However, he did sell a small number for publication in the Texas Observer when Kaye Northcott was editor and Molly Ivins was the Capitol reporter.
Following his three-year stint in Austin, Wieland was promoted to be the AP's Texas Broadcast Wire editor in Dallas. During that time, he was tutored by chief AP photographer Harry Cabluck and upgraded his Leica to an M-2 equipped with an M-4P finder and 35mm, 50mm and 90mm Leitz lenses. When in the field, most of his work for AP was done with the 90mm f2.8 Tele-Elmarit.
Other than a brief hiatus in 1981, he was an AP newsman until retiring in 1999 to take a job with a California dot-com. He later worked in marketing communications with three FORTUNE 500 companies in Dallas before retiring in 2013 to his home in Plano.
16 black-and-white contact sheets and 407 35mm black-and-white negatives by Robert G. Wieland document Texas politicians and lawmakers in 1975 and early 1976. The majority of photographs were taken in chambers at the Texas State Capitol building, using Kodak Tri-X film and available light.
Politicians pictured in this collection include: Governor Dolph Briscoe; Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Billy Clayton; members of the 64th Texas Legislature Gonzalo Barrientos, Jon P. Newton, Tom C. Massey, Ben T. Reyes, Dave Finney, Lane Denton, Paul Burdett Ragsdale; Judge Charles Barrow; U.S. Senators Lloyd Bentsen and John Tower; U.S. Representatives J.J. "Jake" Pickle and Alan Steelman; John Hill; political women Beryl Milburn and Billie Carr; Comptroller Bob Bullock; Welfare Commissioner Raymond Vowell; Commissioner of Education Marlin Brockette; Utility Commissioner Al Erwin; Secretary of State Mark White; Agricultural Commissioner John White; Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong; and impeachment prosecutor Terry Doyle. Other media professionals are also pictured in their offices.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users
Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Robert G. Wieland Collection (AR.2007.021), Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2007/083
Donation Date: 4 September 2007
Initial processing by unknown. Final processing and encoding by Nicole Davis/2014.