Modernism, realism, and a passion for the West were all strongly in Harry Jackson’s blood. Born in Chicago in 1924, he ran away from home at age fourteen to become a cowboy and managed to get to Wyoming. He stopped cowboying in 1942 to enlist in the Marines and served as a combat artist. To further his artwork, Jackson went to New York City where, from 1948 to 1954, he received considerable critical attention as an abstract expressionist. One of his close friends and mentors was the great Jackson Pollock. To satisfy his realist tendencies, Jackson went to Europe in 1954 and he was so impressed, he spent seven years there studying 19th century and 20th century realistic and classical art.
After his return to the States, he absorbed the works of the great American realist Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and particularly the Western artists Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Jackson’s work, as a result, was profoundly changed. He began sculpting in 1958, developing realistic and detailed representations of the cowboy and Native American life. Jackson came full-circle by painting some of his bronze sculptures. They’re breath-taking three-dimensional canvases upon which he painted with all the energy and vibrancy from his days as an abstract expressionist. This fusion of seemingly opposite art forms shows Jackson’s genius. Jackson has participated in numerous one-man and group shows including: the Smithsonian, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Amon Carter Museum, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. He is represented in 19 museums with 53 works of art on display and in many international collections, including the Queen of England.