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May 18 - September 2

Artist Harry Jackson was born in Chicago in 1924 and in his early teens began taking art classes on a scholarship at the Art Institute of Chicago. Inspired by a February 1937 photo spread in Life magazine about Wyoming’s cowboy lifestyle, he hitchhiked to Wyoming at the age of fourteen and worked as a ranch hand in Cody. He soon became a cowboy and began drawing the western scenes that he encountered. In 1942, Jackson enlisted in the Marines and became a sketch artist for the Fifth Amphibious Corps during WWII. War injuries earned him two Purple Hearts and an Honorable discharge in 1945.

In the spring of 1946, he relocated to New York City and began painting in the abstract expressionist style having been greatly influenced by his friend, Jackson Pollack. Jackson’s travels to Europe in the early 1950’s inspired him to transition from abstract painter to realist artist. In the 1960’s, a Fulbright Scholarship and Italian government grants allowed Jackson to travel and study extensively in Italy. It was during this time that he learned to sculpt in bronze. He soon built a studio, house, workshop and foundry in Italy where he created some of his most famous bronze sculptures. He became an expert in the lost wax casting method and was one of the first sculptors since the ancient Greeks to apply color to his sculptures.

Reagan each admired and displayed Jackson’s works, and selected his sculptures as gifts presented to foreign heads of state.

The Brinton Museum exhibition is curated by artist Gerald A. Shippen from Cody (WY) and includes numerous works in bronze as well as paintings and drawings on loan from the Harry Jackson Institute.