Story behind the video: The secret Harry Jackson Show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
In January 1987 Harry Jackson had a one man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art but no one ever knew about it. The show was for the completion of the portrait bust of C. Douglas Dillon. It included all 3 versions of the portrait bust that Harry Jackson sculpted plus about 10 drawings he made in preparation for the sculpture.
The commission took several years and by the end of it the Met was tired and frustrated from dealing with Harry Jackson. The feeling was mutual. So when the Met gave Harry Jackson his show that had been stipulated in the contract they said he could not publicize it. Not that Harry Jackson was known for following what he was told, but he had much more going on, such as a vicious IRS audit, and in the end settled for having the show and documenting that it happened. You can see it in this video which is on our youtube channel.
He was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art board of trustees to sculpt a portrait bust of C. Douglas Dillon. Mr. Dillon served as the chairman of the board of trustees for a long and illustrious tenure and had just retired. As a gift they wanted to commissioned a portrait bust.
The board of Trustee’s asked the Met’s American Wing Curator Lewis Sharp who was the best artist for the job. He replied it was Harry Jackson with out a doubt. “The Foreman, Painted” and “Portrait of a Man” are the reason’s he received the commision.
The sculptures are both of Cal Todd from Meeteetse, Wyoming. From the first moment they met on the Pitchfork Ranch in 1939 they were life long friends. As you can see from these images the sculptures have an unbelievable power and life to them.
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