EVERETT GEE JACKSON (1900–1995)
Big Jim, about 1927
Oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 23 3/4 in.
Signed (at lower right): Everett Gee Jackson
RECORDED: “Amusing Incidents Recounted by Artist,” The Houston Press, March 10, 1928, in Jackson Family Scrapbook, p. 43a (photocopy in Hirschl & Adler Galleries archives) // Katherine Morrison Kahle, “Art Comment: Jackson Knows Life,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 21, 1930, in Jackson Family Scrapbook, p. 15 (photocopy in Hirschl & Adler Galleries archives) // “Beautiful Painting in Lower Gallery,” South Coast News, April 30, 1937, in Jackson Family Scrapbook, p. 48 (photocopy in Hirschl & Adler Galleries archives)
EXHIBITED: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 4–25, 1928, Paintings by Everett Gee Jackson, no. 15 as "Negro Man" // Chouinard Gallery, Los Angeles, February 22–March 13, 1934, no. 7 // Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 2016, Everett Gee Jackson: Modernism without Apologies, pp. 10–13, 23, cat. no 5 illus. in color, p. 12
EX COLL.: the artist; to private collection, about 1991 until the present
In 1928, an interviewer for the Houston Press wrote that Jackson explained that “many [Negro models] he uses are descendants of slaves owned by his grandfather” (Houston Press, Jackson Family Scrapbook, p. 43a). In 1930, Katherine Kahle, reviewed Jackson’s art for the St. Louis Globe Democrat, and singled out Big Jim for special mention, describing the “hat, cigar, and chest expansion” of the picture’s subject. There is reasonable likelihood to believe that Big Jim is a portrait of James Davis, Jr. (1868–1941), the long-time overseer on Jackson’s grandfather’s plantation and general caretaker of the Hunter’s Den, a man who Everett Gee Jackson would have known well from early childhood. In 1927, Davis would have been fifty-nine years old and still an active presence in the life of the Jackson family.