Ralph Eugene Meatyard Occasion for Diriment, 1962 Gelatin silver print, 7.25 x 7.25 in. Guy Davenport Collection, Harry Ransom Center

An optician by trade, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) never considered himself more than a dedicated amateur photographer. And yet his elaborately staged and unsettling vignettes — usually involving his wife and children as characters — were innovative when Meatyard began creating them in the 1950s, and the disquieting scenes of a deteriorating American South still prove provocative today.

“Wildly Strange” features 40 photographs from the University of Texas’ Ransom Center’s collection and from several writers’ archives, reinforcing the narrative underpinning of Meatyard’s disquieting tableaux.

Details: Through June 21. Blanton Musem of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. $5-$9 (free on Thursdays). 512-472-7324, blantonmuseum.org.