A photographic print, apparently printed in Italy, featuring Harry Jackson's important sculpture of John Wayne on a horse, autographed and then dedicated "For my good friend Mert/All the best to you/Your friend/Harry/June 10, 1991/Cody Wyoming". HARRY JACKSON (1924-2011) was a western American artist for many decades, best known for his sculptures, some large or life-size, featuring cowboys, horses and indians. These western works commonly bring $50,000 to $100,000 at auction today, and they are so typically American in subject that presidents had examples in the White House or gave them as officials gifts to such figures as Queen Elizabeth. What is less known is that Jackson in a long career also worked in a wide variety of movements in the art field, including combat art, illustration, abstract expressionism, and realism. Harry Jackson was born in Chicago with the name Harry Aaron Shapiro Jr. He was exposed to the sprawling stock yards there and became acquainted with the cowboys associated with them, while also fascinated with Frederic Remington bronzes at a local museum. At age 14 he ran away to Wyoming and tasted the west for the first time. It was a state to which he often returned and with which he is now most closely associated. He saw combat and was injured in the Pacific during World War II, which left him with permanent physical and psychological issues. During his post-war New York period, while experimenting with the abstract expressionism, he became a friend of Jackson Pollock, beginning in 1948. Dissatisfied with the New York School, Jackson left the modernist work behind as his western American sculptures brought him commercial success in the 1950's. Eventually he had a foundry in Italy, which might explain the Italian part of the print. This came from the estate of Merton Shapiro, a wealthy theater chain owner from Philadelphia and movie industry figure in Southern California. Shapiro (apparently no relation to Harry Jackson's original name) was a close friend of John Wayne, so Harry Jackson was likely thinking of that friendship when he dedicated this print to Merton. Condition is excellent; no glass, and the piece measures 34" by 24" in the frame. The autograph and dedication is in magic marker. See the extensive biography of Harry Jackson, outlining his colorful and interesting life.
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