J is for Jackson

Today is day ten of the A to Z Challenge the letter is J

In this challenge I am taking the opportunity to learn more about art and the painters.


 A. B. Jackson, Porch People Study, c. 1970 – Pastel on paper.Image courtesy of Don Watson.

Alexander Brook Jackson, 1925-1981


gathering on porch

a hot southern afternoon

enjoying warm breeze



Alexander Brooks Jackson was the son of an Irish mother and black father, BFA and MFA degrees from Yale University, studying with Josef Albers.  (Josef Albers was a German-born American artist and educator whose work, both in Europe and in the United States, formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the twentieth century).  Jackson worked in advertising  as a designer. As a teacher he worked at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 10 years at Norfolk State, then joined Old Dominion University as a full professor, the first black faculty member. No floating around europe for this artist, he worked for a living. After being denied entry to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art show in 1962 because of his race, he won best-in-show in 1966. Jackson received significant attention in 1968, after several of his drawings were included in a Smithsonian Institution traveling art exhibition. Influenced by Rembrandt, Jackson worked in a range of materials, including watercolors, pastels, charcoal and acrylic. This painting does have the look of a Rembrandt I think. In the sense that it is little dark. His series of paintings entitled “The Porch People” depicts anonymous sitters on their porches in Ghent, the district of Norfolk, Virginia, where he lived. His book, As I See Ghent: A Visual Essay, was published in 1979. Jackson died in 1981, at the age of 55.