Book of unseen portraits to shed new light on Burroughs

Kansas University student Patrick Clement is the author and curator behind a new book that he says will offer a fresh perspective on Beat Generation writer (and former Lawrencian) William S. Burroughs.

“7786-Burroughs, Wm.,” explores identity performance and the public image of the counter-culture icon through a number of previously unpublished photographs, Clement said in a news release. In the black-and-white portraits, taken at the former Hixon Studios in Lawrence in 1983, the normally stone-faced Williams shows “a surprising amount of emotion, including a few, rare smiles,” according to the release.

The project is also a Spring 2015 Interdisciplinary Research Grant recipient from the KU School of the Arts.

Clement, a senior in film and media studies, launched a crowd-funding campaign last month to pre-sell copies of and raise funds for a companion exhibition of Hixon Studios portraits. The last day to contribute is Dec. 21.

The William S. Burroughs Estate, which has officially approved the project, will donate half of the proceeds from “7786-Burroughs, Wm.” and the companion exhibition to charity on behalf of Burroughs. Clement will donate the other half in honor of Hixon Studios photographer Bob Blank, who died in 2012.