Iconic Threadgill's art finds new home at South Austin Museum of Popular Culture
At the end of November, South Austin lost a haven for comfort food and roots music, when owner Eddie Wilson decided to shutter the south location of Threadgill's.
With a wide collection of photographs, posters and concert memorabilia, including many items from the storied Armadillo World Headquarters which was also owned by Wilson, the restaurant had become a de facto gallery dedicated to a golden era of Austin music. After closing the restaurant, Wilson auctioned off nearly 500 items.
But he also took steps to protect the public legacy of the work. At the close of the auction, Eddie and Sandra Wilson informed Leea Mechling, director of the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture that they had decided to donate over $30,000 of art and memorabilia to the museum.
The museum hosts a collection of vintage posters and live music ephemera from the 1960s through today.
“The South Pop folks make it easier for me to flashback than any other place in town. For a few minutes I can flash back 40 years. This is the only place I'd trust with this work,” Wilson said in a press release about South Pop's acquisition of the Threadgill's collection.
The Threadgill's collection that will move to the gallery includes personal pieces from Gilbert Shelton created expressly for Eddie Wilson, Sam Yeates paintings for the Lone Star Beer campaign and other significant pieces from the Armadillo Art Squad. Museum staff also purchased several of the armadillo sculptures, created by Jim Franklin, that were outside the restaurant in the auction.