Cover for WOODEN: Billy Morrow Jackson: Interpretations of Time and Light. Click for larger image

Billy Morrow Jackson

Interpretations of Time and Light
Awards and Recognition:

First Place Award for Best Regional Book by the Mid-America Booksellers, 1991, and Honorable Mention for Illustrations and Graphics.

Here are nearly a hundred stunning reproductions (three-quarters in full color) of many of the Illinois prairie landscapes, as well as the cityscapes, townscapes, interior views, works with social and political themes, and murals done by Jackson over the past forty years, all of them reflecting his fascination with the subtle yet pervasive impact of time and light on art and on life.

Howard Wooden surveys Jackson's stylistic and technical developments as an artist, beginning with his early black-and-white woodblock prints executed in Mexico in 1949 and 1950 and ending with three large murals painted in the late 1980s, one of which adorns the Illinois State Capitol.

Jackson's work, which hangs in the National Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and in many other museums across America, feature images derived, but not copied, from reality. A brief essay by Jackson on his painting technique appears in an appendix.

"It would be easy enough to compare Billy Morrow Jackson, as a realist, with Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper and to disparage his accomplishment thereby. That would not only be manifestly unfair but would miss entirely the difference present in his work. . . . Whereas the underlying mood of both Hopper and Wyeth is an almost fatalistic sense of the tragedy of life, Jackson's sense of time and place reveals a candid but positive acceptance of reality. His sense of himself is strikingly free of invidious comparisons with other cultures, other times. . . . The character of his vision, which is not merely an extraordinary optical skill, is more an attitude of mind, a point of view that has been achieved through a conscious detachment from the public context of the practice of painting."-Norman A. Geske, director emeritus of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

Howard E. Wooden is director emeritus of the Wichita Art Museum and the author of American Art of the Great Depression.

The late Billy Morrow Jackson, was a member of the art faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for thirty-three years.

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