James R. Jackson in the Press

Manly Daily, 7/12/2013: Take an impression
Opening of Early Impressions: James R. Jackson exhibition....

Manly Daily 1 Dec 2012 James R Jackson exhibition Manly Art GalleryManly Daily, 1/12/2012: Remembering great artist

James R. Jackson (1882-1975) was an impressionist painter in the vein of Arthur Streeton and E. Phillips Fox. He lived much of his life in Seaforth and his home had a view over The Spit. He painted The Spit Bridge many times. 
An exhibition of his work has been curated by fine art dealers Brigitte Banziger and David Hulme of Banziger Hulme Fine Arts. It comprises work from the gallery and private collections from all over the country. It will be shown exclusively at Manly.
"One of the great things about his work is the light,", Mr Hulme said. "Like a lot of Australian painters, I think Jackson had to spend some time overseas and then come back to Australia to appreciate the light in this country."
According to Mr Hulme, Jackson was also influenced by his contemporaries, particularly E Phillips Fox, an artist who also painted scenes of Manly. "He (Jackson) was one of many artists who went to and studied in Venice,", he said. "Some of his Venice paintings are included in the exhibition."

Manly Daily Dec 2012Manly Daily, December 2012: Paper's brush with greatness

It's the painting that won a Manly Daily art competition in 1923 and led to the establishment of Manly Art Gallery in 1930. Now it will be front-and-centre at an upcoming exhibition at the gallery of works by James Jackson. Manly Art Gallery and Museum will exhibit 21 paintings by Jackson, many of which have been borrowed from other museums, galleries and private collections. It has been curated by Brigitte Banziger and David Hulme, and will be opened by art historian and publisher Lou Klepac ...

Manly Art Gallery and Museum director Jackie Dunn said she was pleased to be able to exhibit so many of Jackson's paintings. "The early paintings are very highly regarded but rarely seen," she said.

"We are very grateful to institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of South Australia for their generous loans. As well as the many private lenders who have agreed to part with their prized possessions to allow this exhibition to be staged at Manly, Jackson's spiritual and artistic home."

Manly Daily, 21/10/2000: Portrait of an artist
A brief history of Manly Art Gallery with an extended biography of James R. Jackson

The Sydney Weekly, 18-24/7/1995, p. 26: The Collector - Manly Art Gallery and Museum

It is 1924 and in a small park in Manly opposite the Council Chambers the editor of a local paper, Mr. J.R. Trenerry, has organised an art competition, being shown in a rather large but temporary tent. The winner is announced as being Sydney painter James R Jackson, with his work 'Middle Harbour from Manly Heights'. Local residents and artists petition the Council to purchase the painting,. The money is raised and the first step taken in the development of one of Australia's most significant public art collections, today housed at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum ....

Art and Australia, Vol 32, no 1, 1994, p.66ff,  photograph of 'Oleanders' by James R. Jackson p. 68
Useless Beauty, by Ann Elias

...'Oleanders' by James R. Jackson, while not strictly a flower painting, is a useful index to the social construction of the feminine and feminine space. A woman sits at home at a table arranging flowers as a man watches and paints her doing this. The artist is an observer of a feminine world in the process of being fashioned. The subject cheerfully attends to the detail of domestic decoration, and her activity recalls the era of Ruskin when moral expectation was placed on the domestic care of mother and wife for the success of the nuclear family - the keeper of the city, not the builder. ... 'Oleanders' is a painting of the domestic world of flowers and women, put the painter is able to distance himself from any threat to his masculinity by this association with feminine weakness because the feminine is his object of study. As a hybrid of the genres of flower and figure painting the work is raised above the level of 'pure' flower painting, proving that what is important here is not the mechanical copying of nature - so suited to the leisured woman or the misguided man - but an interpretation of the human subject. However, any man in Australia who painted flowers in domestic interiors without including the presence of the human subject ran a great risk of being charged with feminine weakness ...

Press James R Jackson book publishedMosman Daily, 1991: Painter hid his favourite works!

"It's really been a highlight of my life, especially to get the old boy, Jimmy, down in print." Dr Jacqueline Jackson, a retired GP, is talking about working on and publishing her first book: James Jackson - Art was his life. ....

The Bulletin, 18/06/1991: Amended Arcadia

A large James R. Jackson oil (dated 1948) to be sold by Lawson's in Sydney may be an important early work post-dated by the artist. Jackson's daughter, Jacqueline Jamieson ... believes 'Halcyon Days' is 'very good' and 'a rarity'. "My father painted a series of what I call his 'Arcadian nudes' over four years, from 1920 to 1924, with naked women with a bit of drapery near pools," says Jamieson. "I think that this one may have been done then and he kept it and had another go at it later."...

Sydney Morning Herald, 10/9/1975: Artist Dies

The Australian landscape painter, James Jackson, died yesterday in hospital after a stroke two weeks ago. Mr Jackson, who was 93, ha studied painting in London and Paris and his works are included in the Royal Family's collections and in the New South Wales and other national art galleries.

Press 1974Possibly Mosman Daily, 1974: Painting days may be over

At 92, artist James Jackson fears he may have to stop work. Last Friday, Mr Jackson, a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of NSW and member of the Australian Academy of Art, was hit by a bus while crossing a busy street at Cremorne Junction.
"The bus knowcked me flying off my feet and crushed my right hand up against the paintbox I was carrying," he sad at his studio last night. The ligaments in Mr Jackson's right hand were damaged.
"Well, the doctor hasn't said anything to me yet but it's damned worrying," he said.  "You know, if I can't paint, there's nothing left."
Mr Jackson is a chirpy little man "about 5ft 3ins in my socks." with silver strands of hair combed carefully across his forehead. He lives in a 420 a week bed-studio above a milkbar and fruitshop in Blues Point Road, North Sydney.
Mr Jackson's works, traditional landscapes, have been exhibited throught the world. The Art Gallery of NSW has 16 of his paintings while another 18 works are owned by major galleries in all Australia's capital cities. The Royal family owns three of his paintings, Mr Jackson said.

Manly Daily, March 1958: Artist's picture is Royal Choice

Members of the Manly Art Gallery Committee at its monthly meeting on Monday evening last were enthusiastic in their congratulations to one of its members, Mr. J.R. Jackson, a famous artist, in having one of his pictures chosen to be presented to the Queen Mother. It was certainly a great honour for Mr. Jackson and Manly is proud to learn of such honours ....

James R Jackson Harbour TranquilityAustralian Art Illustrated, 1947, published by the Royal Art Society:
Harbour Tranquility by Jackson is illustrated on page 20

The Courier-Mail, 2/5/1947 (Brisbane) p. 2: An Artist of the Old School

The present exhibition at the Centennial Galleries offers a happy surprise to the chance visitor who will find a dozen recent paintings by James R. Jackson - probably one of the few remaining artists from the greatest period (the Streeton Period) of Australian art. James R. Jackson studied under Frank Brangwyn, and is outstanding in his brilliant use of the broad brush treatment, his sky effects being particularly
effective, in some instances magnificent. ...

Sydney Morning Herald, 8/4/1938: Picture Preferences at Art Exhibition. Private View Yesterday.

Many connoisseurs of art attended the private view of the first exhibition arranged by the Australian Academy of Art and held at the Education Department’s Galleries in Loftus Street yesterday. ...
“I may go round the exhibition hundreds of times,” said Mrs. W. A. Holman, “but I would always come back to a Jackson picture.” Her particular choice is James R. Jackson’s “Harbour on Sunday.” Mrs. Holman is, however, gradually acquiring an appreciation of the more modern pictures.  ...

Sydney Morning Herald, 9/6/1937, p.8: Art Exhibitions Mr. James R. Jackson

For a number of years, James R. Jackson has been recognised as an accomplished painter of Australian landscape. But he has never before done such fine work as now adorns the walls of David Jones George Street Gallery.

The Australian Home Beautiful, 1/5/1933, p.31-37:  The Home of an Artist
By Nora Cooper. Illustrated with photographs by Harold Cazneaux

Harold Cazneaux photographs of James R Jackson and Seaforth homeTo describe the home of an artist is never an easy matter. His possessions are so much a part of his personality - or is it hat his personality so invades his possessions? - that it seems impossible to separate them long enough for the cold purposes of narrative. And in regard to James R. Jackson it would seem to be more difficult than usual. ....

There is himself, one of Australia's prominent younger artists (though actually he was born in New Zealand), Fellow of the Royal Art Society (N.S.W.) since 1922, with pictures hung in every important Australian gallery, to say nothing of private English collections - and a still brighter future ahead of him.

Of this one gets no hint at all, wandering after him along the flower-bordered pathways of his home at Balgowlah. Dark and soft voiced, he will talk with a whimsical, absent kindliness on any and every subject except himself. ...

50 Years of Australian Art by Members of the Royal Art Society 1879 - 1929
, 1929, p. 11:

At the present time the Royal Art Society has a total membership of 180, comprising ten Full Members:
W. Lister Lister, President; Charles Bryant, R.O.I, Vice-President; J.S. Watkins, Vice-President; Lawson Balfour, Alfred Coffey, A. Dattilo-Rubbo, J.R. Jackson, Sir John Longstaff, Syd. Long, A.R.E., and Charles Wheeler; nine Associate Members ...

Two paintings represent the art of James R. Jackson in the publication: The Harbour from Balgowlah  in colour on page 25, and The Crevice
on page 77 in black and white.

Sydney Morning Herald, 23/5/1928: At the Exhibition of French, Spanish and Italian Landscapes by Mr James R. Jackson
Two paintings of Venice and Toledo illustrated

Sydney Morning Herald, 16/4/1928, p.10: Art Abroad. A low Standard. Mr. Jackson's Impressions

After wandering for 18 months through Italy, Spain, France, and England, and viewing many exhibitions of modern art in these countries, Mr. James R. Jackson, the well-known Sydney artist, returned to Australia by the Commissaire Ramel on Saturday, with the conviction that the Australian standard of art is always as high, and In many cases Is higher, than the standard abroad.

"In my opinion," said Mr. Jackson. "Sir William Orpen is undoubtedly the greatest artist of today. During the tour I saw many exhibitions, and it was a very rare experience to come across a really fine piece of work. Now and again, of course, there was a good thing, but in between there were daubs that could not be termed pictures. The trouble is that on the Continent anyone at all can exhibit- even a student. At one salon in Paris there were 6000 works hung without any attempt at maintaining a standard. The object of the modern schools seems to be the distortion of everything. No member of the ultra-modern schools would dream of depicting things as God made them. Colour, form, and line are all unnatural. Good natural drawing in a picture would damn an aspiring modern for ever."

One good thing would come from the modern movement, continued Mr. Jackson. The different extreme schools were continually fighting among themselves, and eventually all of them would be destroyed. Out of the confusion then would emerge a movement towards saner, greater work.

Sydney Morning Herald, 16/4/1928, p.10: Italy. Artist's Impressions. Distress in small Districts

During his travels in Italy Mr. James R. Jackson, Sydney artist, who returned to Australia on Saturday, visited many towns and Villages off the tourist map. In the large tourist towns, he said, everything seemed bright and cheerful, but in smaller districts there was a great deal of misery.

"Italian people," ho said, "are expected to have children within two years of marriage. If they haven'ta ny by that time they are fined 600 lire. In the poorer districts there are not many lire kicking about, but you find the children all right. I believe the idea is that Mussolini wants soldiers for the years to come. Accommodation is very scarce. Tho poorer classes cannot afford to build, and in one instance I found five families living In three rooms."

Sydney Morning Herald, 24/8/1923, p. 36: Neutral Bay, by Jas. R. Jackson (illustrated)

This oil painting, which has been purchased by the trustees of the National Art Gallery for 150 guineas, from the exhibition of the Royal Art Society, embraces a wide extent of land and water. The technique is skilful, and the beauty of the scene is enhanced by a finely studied sky, in which patches of cloud float in the pale azure breadth over-arching all.

The Triad, 10/8/1923: Royal Art Society Exhibition

... James Jackson, in 'A Western Valley', shows the effect of dry, hot weather on the sun-scorched grass and trees, relieved by the line of a river winding into the distance. One of the most harmonious pictures this artist has exhibited is 'Neutral Bay'. The distance is finely handled, and the luminous autumn haze hanging over the Bay is masterly in its treatment. Again, in his 'Parramatta River', Jackson has solved a difficult problem in catching the scintillation on the water of the river. ...

Sydney Morning Herald
,  9/8/1923:
Art Gallery. Pictures Purchased

The trustees of the National Art Gallery isited the annual exhibition of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales this morning and made the following purchases, viz.: — No, 28, “Neutral Bay. Sydney Harbour,” by James R. Jackson, 150 gns.; 173, “Bush Team,” by H. S. Power, 150 gns.; 197, “The Workshop,” by F. Whitmore, 5 gns.
The first of these is an oil painting, which embraces a wide extent of land and water, as the foreground shows the heights above, the foreshores near at hand, a vast space of sea, and the distant coast of Rose Bay on the other side. The technique is skilful, and the beauty of the scene is enhanced by a finely studied sky, in which patches of cloud float in the pale azure breadth over-arching all.

Evening News, 19/6/1923: Norman Lloyd

... A club was formed, models were hired, and on nights when they were not at the art class. Lloyd and his fellow enthusiasts studied figure drawing, and diligently endeavored to put their divers theories about art into practice. James R. Jackson, whose clever landscapes hang in many homes nowadays, was then little more than an advanced student himself. Under his captaincy an out-door sketching class was held, the members of which tried hard to put the sylvan beauties of Sydney’s less populated; suburbs on canvas at week-ends. Lloyd, who was one of the happy band, made rapid progress. ...

Daily Telegraph, 6 /6/1923: Australian Art. London Collection. Strongest in Landscapes

The exhibition of the collection of pictures for the Exhibition of Australian Art at the Royal Academy next October, is the most important which has been held in Australia since the first exhibition of any kind was organised by John Skinner Prout, in Hobart, in 1845. A large gathering is expected at the Education Department Gallery to-day, when the exhibition will be formally opened by the Governor-General at 2.30. ...
The work of Percy Lindsay. M. J. M‘Nally, Penleigh Boyd, Ford Paterson, James R. Jackson, B. E. Minns, Alfred T. Clint, and C. E. S. Tindall should also be mentioned.

Daily Telegraph, 26/05/1923: Australian Art. Pictures for London

A list giving the artists’ names and the pictures which have been selected for the Exhibition of Australian Art in London, has been issued by the Society of Artists. Up to the present 57 Victorian artists, 42 from New South Wales, and three from South Australia, are represented. It is probable that a few more will be added to the list.
The following New South Wales artists will be represented in the collection: — Messrs. Will Ashton, Howard Ashton, Julian Ashton, Muir Auld, Lawson Balfour, J. A. Bennett, Albert Collins, Alfred T. Clint, Alfred Coffey, Norman Carter, Roi de Mestre [a.k.a. Roy de Maistre], A. H. Fullwood, Herbert Gallop, Elioth Gruner, James R. Jackson, Norman Lindsay, Lionel Lindsay, Percy Leason, George Lambert, A R.A., W. Lister-Lister, John Longstaff, Percy Lindsay, Squire Morgan, John Moore, B. E. Minns, Meade, Norton [sic: F. Meade Norton], Lloyd Rees, A. Datillo-Rubbo, Bruce Robertson, Gayfield Shaw, Sydney Ure-Smith, E. M. Smith, C. E. S. Tindall, E. Warner, Hardy Wilson, Blamire Young, the late Messrs. Douglas Fry, J. J. Hilder, and Frank Mahony, Mrs. Margaret Preston, Miss Thea Proctor, and Miss Florence Rodway.
Mr. Norman Lindsay has eighteen works, Mr. Hans Heysen fourteen, and Mr. Lionel Lindsay twelve. Mr. Elioth Gruner’s group of eight includes “Morning Light” and “The Valley of the Tweed” in the National Gallery [AGNSW]; and Mr. Arthur Streeton is represented by his view of the Hawkesbury River in the Melbourne Gallery [NGV], and four other works.
The set of five works by George Lambert, A.R.A., includes “The White Glove” and the portrait of Mrs. Ernest Watt; and Mr. John Longstaff sends the portrait of Mrs. Bloomfield and another work. Mr. Max Meldrum is represented by his self portrait; and there are two landscapes by Louis Buvelot, usually regarded as the father of landscape painting in Australia.

Daily Mail, 17/10/1922: Art Society. Annual Exhibition

There is much to please the art-lover and little to displease; at the Queensland Art Society’s annual exhibition, which is to be opened (in Finney’s former premises in Adelaide-street) this afternoon by his Excellency the Governor (Sir Matthew Nathan). The exhibits are not quite as numerous as in previous years, but the quality of the work is decidedly higher — which is a matter for congratulations to all concerned. In addition to the 75 watercolours and oils exhibited by members of the society, there are some loan paintings by such well-known artists as Miss Cumbrae-Stewart, and Messrs. B. E. Minns, J. A. [sic: J. R.] Jackson, Salvano [sic: Salvana], S. Long, and M‘Innes [a.k.a. McInnes] and a small collection of beautiful pottery and sculpture, together with attractive specimens of black and, white work, and several samples of woodcarving complete a decidedly pleasing exhibition.
Prominent among the exhibitors is the well-known southern artist, James A. Jackson, who is represented by three delightful offerings, “Drying Sails” (a charming sea picture) and two beauty spots in New South Wales — Brookvale and the Nepean River.

Daily Telegraph, 25/7/1922: Australian Art. Dame Nellie Optimistic. “Europe Dead For Artists”

.... Dame Nellie has done so much for music that it is not fully realised what she has done for art. She is the Lady Bountiful of the art world. She has helped Australian artists at home and abroad, and her presence at an exhibition usually assures its success. At Coombe Cottage she has a representative Australian collection, which includes works by Streeton, Heysen, Hilder, Norman and Lionel Lindsay, Gruner, Sydney Ure Smith, James R. Jackson, Norman Carter, and many others. 

Daily Telegraph, 13/5/1922: Gallery and Studio. Notes

... Mr. James R. Jackson has been holding an exhibition of his paintings at the rooms of Decoration, Ltd., Melbourne, The critic of the “Age” places him among “the first half dozen living Australian landscape painters.”

The Argus (Melbourne), 3/5/1922, p. 15: Art Exhibitions - Mr James R. Jackson's Paintings

Sydney Harbour, with its many changing beauties, is the subject of the majority of the paintings by Mr James R Jackson, now being exhibited at the Decoration Galleries, Collins Street. The harbour is painted from many points of view and aspects of nature. ...

Herald, 2/5/1922: Sydney Harbor on Canvas. J. R. Jackson’s Paintings
By A. Colquhoun

An exhibition of about forty oil paintings of Sydney Harbor, by Mr. James R. Jackson, was opened at the Decoration Galleries, Collins street, this afternoon.
Mr. Jackson paints the harbor from many points of view and under varied conditions, and, while his work is brilliant and attractive, it is marked by the mannerisms of a distinctive school of Australian landscape, which includes Arthur Streeton and W. B. M‘Innes [a.k.a. McInnes].
The pictures, for the most part, show a rapid executive skill, which tends to light, and the clean use of pigment, though missing at times, in its dexterity, the more subtle things of nature. The golden sunlight phase of the harbor is chiefly dealt with — veiled, in some instances, but not hidden, by a luminous, translucent haze. The latter effect is well expressed In A Grey Day and in Sydney Harbor, both of which are treated with a fine sense of space and atmosphere.
In Middle Harbor, that realism savors something of crudeness, particularly as seen in conjunction with the more poetic conceptions, but variableness in this respect helps to obviate the tendency to repetition which might otherwise make itself felt. Cloud Shadows is a clever study in the abrupt, changing accents of light and shade which occur when the clouds are low and broken, and further interesting impressions in color are the two nocturnes, Circular Quay and Lavender Bay.
In some of the smaller works there are signs of too much haste; and in Brookvale, which ought to have been one of the best things in the show, the good qualities are discounted to a certain extent by an over-nervous treatment, which gives to the otherwise brilliant work a suggestion of spottiness.
Boats and ships, incidental to many of the pictures, are handled with knowledge, and introduced with a discriminating sense of composition.
The exhibition, taken as a whole, is a good one. 

Daily Telegraph, 30/1/1922:
Australian Pictures. The Dodds Collection

“Redfern Railway Station,” painted by Streeton soon after his first arrival In Sydney, is the gem of Mr. Leonard Dodds’ collection of Australian pictures, which Mr. James R. Lawson will offer for sale at his auction rooms, 196-198 Castlereagh Street, at 11 o’clock to-morrow.
Painted in three hours, it has all the spontaniety [and brilliance that distinguished his early work. There are a number of other works done by this artist at home and abroad. Two early portraits by Tom Roberts add to the interest of the collection, and “The Wattles,” by Mr. Elliott [a.k.a. Elioth] Gruner, holds it own among the landscapes. There are also representative works by Messrs. Norman Lindsay, Blamire Young, Henry Fullwood, Sydney Long, Will Ashton, J. R. Eldershaw, M. J. M‘Nally , Sydney Ure Smith, James R. Jackson, Roland Wakelin, and others.

Sydney Mail, 10/8/1921: A clever landscape and figure painter

For some years past the paintings of Mr. James R. Jackson have been a notable feature of the Royal Art Society’s exhibitions. This year his panel (he has no fewer than 12 pictures on view) is the principal one in the show. His bright and pleasing colours attract the general public; the sterling technical qualities of the works secure the admiration of artists and critics. Mr. Jackson is now regarded as one of the few Australian painters who really count.
There are some Sydney art-lovers who saw in the first work exhibited at the Art Society’s exhibition of 1910 by Mr. Jackson the factors which make for success. His colour sense was unusually good from the outset, and it has since been trained and improved. Rejoicing in the brilliant display of colour harmonies which Nature makes in Australia, Mr. Jackson set himself to reproduce them. His early impressionist landscapes and his bold treatment of the figure in the open air gave a note of gaiety to his exhibits which contrasted agreeably with the graver and often stodgier pictures near by.
Colour is, after all, the most important element of a painting. The selective sense is shown in the theme and fundamental training in the draughtsmanship, but neither good drawing nor interesting subject will compensate for lack of beauty in colour. One might grade artists by their ability to render colour in its true tonal values and in its less obvious and vulgar appearances. And one might almost say that if a person is endowed with a fine colour sense all other requirements of artistry will be added unto him.
Mr. Jackson’s progress as an artist is indicated by the increasing subtlety of his handling of paint and his treatment of more difficult aspects of the figure. Figure painting is more exacting than landscape, and less saleable; so that fewer artists attempt it seriously as compared with those who “go in for” landscape.
JAMES R. JACKSON virtually began his artistic career with drawings and paintings of the figure. At the age of 8 he came to Sydney from New Zealand, where, in the town of Palmerston North, he was born on the 3rd July, 1886. While a youngster he amused himself considerably with a few coloured chalks. His father saw some of these drawings, and then showed the boy a small painting made by one of his employees. James said that he didn’t think much of it. The father, amused at his assurance, said: [‘]‘The day you can do anything as good as that you will be somebody.” James replied that if he had a box of colours he could do as well as that very quickly. A box of paints was given to him, and he set to work with them enthusiastically. After leaving school he obtained employment with a firm of decorators in Sydney, and made use of any spare time in painting for his own enjoyment. One day his employer found a dashing sort of painting on the wall, and said: “What does this mean? Who did this?” James proudly confessed that alone he did it. “Well, you’re used up a lot of valuable paints. If you want to take up this sort of thing, I’ll introduce you to an artist I know, and he’ll teach you.”
Shortly afterwards young Jackson was introduced to Frank Mahony, who was then instructor at the classes of the Art Society of N.S.W. He studied with Mahony for some seven or eight months, and when the latter went to England his last words to his pupil were: “Stick to it, Jackson; I think you’ll get on all right.”
JACKSON did stick to it, and studied at the Art Society’s classes for about seven years altogether. Like most of the students, he wanted to go to London, and fixed a date ahead by which time he thought he would have enough money for the trip. At first the date was 1909, but afterwards he altered it to 1907. However, he left Sydney in 1906 for Melbourne with the intention of studying for a while under Mr. Bernard Hall at the National Gallery [NGV School] there. He was not able to join Mr. Hall’s class, but received a good deal of encouragement from the late Mr. Fred McCubbin, and after three weeks in Melbourne decided to go on to London. He secured a passage for a moderate sum via Cape Horn, and arrived in London early in 1907. Two days after his arrival in the great city, and without waiting to see the sights, Mr. Jackson applied for admission to Messrs. Brangwyn and Swan’s New Art School. Applicants generally have to wait some time for admission, as the number of pupils is limited; but luck was with Jackson, as there happened to be a vacancy that day, and he began work in the school next morning.
Both Brangwyn and Swan were much liked by their pupils for their geniality and practical advice. They used to call Swan “Old Tones,” because he was always telling them that tone values were the things that mattered — “tones, my boy, tones.” When Brangwyn first saw Jackson’s painting he said: “Too hot — too hot” and passed on. Next time, he looked at Jackson’s work for a few minutes, took his brush, and started to paint in some grey tones to reduce the warmth. He asked Jackson where he came from. The pupil replied: “Australia, where we have a very good thing of yours, sir, in the Sydney Galley [AGNSW] — ‘The Scoffers.’ ” Brangwyn said: “Oh, yes; and you have a very good thing of Madox Brown’s there — ‘Chaucer Reading his Poems Before John of Gaunt.’ ” He also said that he had for some time wished to go to Australia, but was afraid he could not get away from his work. He now had opportunities for painting the things he liked, and unless there was pleasure in one’s work it could not be much good.
SIX happy months were spent at the New Art School, and then Jackson went on to Paris, where he joined the Academy Colarossi. For twelve months he worked there, with Renard and Gorgia as the principal teachers. At the end of the year they told him that he had made such good progress that he should try for the Salon in the following year. However, he could not finance a longer stay, and had to return to Sydney. While at the Colarossi one of the students, an American, came to Jackson and some others and said: “Look here, you fellows, my Dad is coming over from home, and I have to put up an exhibition of marine paintings in a devil of a hurry. He is a shipowner, you knew, and all he thinks of is ships. I am supposed to be here to learn how to paint ships, and I’ve none to show him. For goodness’ sake help me to knock some up in time.” They all agreed, and set to work, so that by the time Dad arrived his son had quite a creditable collection of marine paintings to show him. Dad was pleased, and allowed his son to continue his studies, which he did — but studies in the nude, not of ships.
Mr. Jackson used whatever spare time he had in Paris in studying the masterpieces in the galleries or in walking expeditions into the country, and once in Belgium. He was much impressed by the paintings of the Impressionists, especially Manet and Degas, and his handling of light shows their influence. Some Algerian scenes by Morot [sic: Corot] — horses on dusty roads under strong sunlight and similar subjects reminiscent of Australia — also appealed to him. In Paris he saw a good deal of the work of Phillips Fox, who had been for some years in Australia, and whose fine treatment of human figures out of doors had already strongly appealed to him.
FOR the most part Mr. Jackson paints in the open air on the coast near Sydney. He has spent some time painting inland at such places as Sofala and Hill End, but he can find all the landscape subjects he wants near at hand in Sydney. Already he has covered a fairly wide range of subjects. The opinion of many of his friends is that he has been most successful in painting the figure in the subdued light of an interior. Such a canvas as “Morning in the Studio,” which many of our readers will remember, in which a simply-dressed and attractive girl is posed against the studio wall and beside a small mirror which reflects her face, is somewhat of a triumph over technical difficulties. His open-air studies are, however, more generally popular. The picture purchased last year by the N.S.W. National Gallery is a seascape of particular fine quality. Mr. Jackson is never content to rest at any stage of accomplishment he has reached, but endeavours to go higher and further.

Australasian, 6/8/1921: The Studio. Royal Art Society of New South Wales

The private view of the Forty-second Annual Exhibition of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales took place on Saturday afternoon, July 30, and was marked by a sort of renaissance of interest in Australian talent. The rooms were almost uncomfortably crowded. There were 355 items displayed, the contributing artists numbering 83 — at least seven well-known artists sent in a dozen exhibits each, some even more ....  Mr. James Jackson shows a dozen land and waterscapes full of atmospheric charm. His “Narrabeen Lake” is bathed in a pale luminosity, with nymphlike figures posed on the edge of the shore, and in his “Hazy Morning” the sun is throwing patins of bright gold through an opalescent haze upon the sea. The rocks in the foreground will delight all rock-lovers by their pure rockiness. 

Daily Telegraph,  3/8/1921: Australian Art. Mr Mutch Optimistic

There was a large attendance at the new gallery at the Department of Education, when the Minister (Mr. T. D. Mutch) formally opened the forty-second annual exhibition of the Royal Art Society. Before addressing the audience the Minister viewed all sections of the collection.
Mr. Mutch, who was introduced by the president (Mr. W. Lister-Lister), said it was dangerous for a Minister to stand on a platform, for if a request for a subsidy did not come from the chairman it came from a member of the audience. Although he had no artistic talent, he could claim to have some artistic taste, and he considered that the subjects selected by the artists had been well and faithfully represented. He noticed a marked improvement, particularly in the Works of Mr. James R. Jackson, who was one of the Australian painters with a capital P.  ...

Daily Telegraph, 30/71921: Royal Art Society. A Varied Collection. The Jackson Landscapes

We have reached a stage in our art history where the public has faith in the artists; it now rests with the artists to keep faith with the public. In the selection of works for exhibitions it is not too much to expect that at least a fairly high standard should be maintained; and so avoid the depressing effect which is produced by the inclusion of inferior work.

There is much to admire in the annual exhibitions of the Royal Art Society at the Exhibition Gallery at the Department of Education, Loftus Street, which opens with private view to-day; but one regrets that the selection committee has allowed certain percentage of mediocre works to detract from the general effect of the collection. It would have been so much stronger without it.

The group that makes the most appeal is that which includes the landscapes and seascapes of Mr James R. Jackson, most which have figures in the foreground. There is considerable charm about “Romantic Land,” in which two nudes, which are well drawn, blend well with the scene depicted by the artist. The lighting of the composition is very effective. There is a more conscious arrangement of the figures in “A Sylvan Retreat,” but the composition, as a whole is remarkably well painted. This work appears to have just missed the effect of spontaneity that makes the others so attractive. The artist’s other impressions, which vary in quality, are all distinguished by sound painting. ...

Daily Telegraph, 14/2/1921: Jackson's Oil Paintings. First One Man Show

The exhibition of pictures by James R. Jackson, which opened yesterday at the Art Salon, Penzance Chambers, 29 Elizabeth Street, is for some reason or other the artist’s first one-man show. Considering his acknowledged ability, that it should be his first is rather a surprise. However, the increasing number of people who consider art worth while will be glad of a better chance of characterising that of Jackson than is to be had by a sight of four or five pictures in a society’s exhibition.  Jackson is, above all things, a painter of Sydney Harbor. His work lies somewhere midway between that of the realists and the romanticists. There is certainly romance in it, but as certainly one would never say of it, as a flabbergasted critic once said of one of Hilder’s dreams, that he “had seen the place, and it wasn’t a bit like that!” Jackson does not attempt imaginative flights, but he can catch exactly the feeling that attaches to some far-off blue patch of water, seen across yellow-brown landscape, dim on a hot, moist day. Or the struggling of a pale sunlight through the misty air above the water at dawn; or a long, wooded point, yellow-brown, again, with house-roofs showing, and a line of hills on the other side of the harbor, and, between and below, a pale blue sheet of water, all on a hot and hazy midsummer afternoon.
But the exhibition does not all consist of pictures of this sort. A row of autumn-colored inland poplars, sheltered in a hollow so that their leaves have not yet dropped; girls gazing through the entrance of a boatshed over a reach of bay; moored sailing ships, very cleverly drawn. There is plenty of variety, but it is all Jackson. The exhibition closes on February 28.

Sydney Morning Herald, 14/2/1921: J. R. Jackson's Art

James R. Jackson’s range is wider than that of the generality of landscape painters, embracing on other occasions figure and genre subjects, and this versatility might have been of distinguishing service at the exhibition of oils which he is opening this morning at the Art Salon in Penzance-chambers. For some reason or other, however, he has confined his collection (with one or two exceptions) to the art of the landscape pure and simple, in which respect he runs the risk of the monotony which is sometimes the bane of the one-man show. Fortunately it is only a risk, as he presents Nature in many moods in and around Sydney Harbour, thus perpetuating on canvas the evanescent charms of a whole series of well-contrasted and lovely scenes. “Hazy Morning” is one of these, with a silvery light over a fading distance, a leafy promontory that stretches out into the centre of the composition, and the smoke of many tied-up steamers helping to obliterate the sky — all cleverly treated as to values, and generally attractive. “Middle Harbour from Mosman” possesses a harmony of tone which contributes to the serenity of a touching view; “Taylor Bay” pleases through the handling of a breadth of pale sapphire water with a hard clear light which falls upon the coastline, bringing home to the spectator a familiar effect. There is poetry in “The Neglected Farm,” a lonely little building in ruins on the side of a rising hill, prosaic in itself, but redeemed by the feeling of sentiment and the successful care bestowed upon the details of light in relation to herbage. “Morning, Sydney Harbour” wins by the purity of its colouring, and “Evening Glow” reproduces an effect of Nature which insensibly draws the eye across the spacious stretch of water to the effulgence on the distant shore, whereon the dying day is spending its final effort. Mr. Jackson exhibits in all some two score works of varying interest, which may be viewed until the end of the present month.

Sydney Mail, 18/8/1920: The Royal Art Society’s show is always interesting;

but we cannot profess to be altogether enthusiastic concerning this year’s exhibition at the Sydney Education Gallery. The honours are easily taken by James R. Jackson, whose panel of pictures is the feature of the display. Miss Marion [sic: Mrs. Margaret] Preston’s studies of flowers are exquisite. Both these artists were honoured by the trustees of the National Art Gallery. Mr. Jackson is destined to a brilliant career; his advance in the last twelve months has been remarkable.

Truth, 15//81920: The "Art"Society. What’s Wrong With Out Artists? Drab Display of Dull Mediocrity. Has Bourgeois Philistinism Completely Triumphed?

On Monday afternoon the Minister for Education opened the Royal Art Society’s Spring Exhibition, which is being held in the Education Department’s Gallery. The speaker made some conventionally “pretty” and “proper” remarks to the effect that the Royal Art Society was the parent one, but that its son and daughter — the Society of Artists and the Women Painters — thought they knew more than their parent; and that he was pleased to note that so many artists were painting our beautiful scenery, and he hoped they would go on painting Australia.
The exhibition is a fair one, though of the 281 exhibits, fully 125 are below standard. There is evidence of much painstaking work, but very little inspiration. When the artists have left the beaten track of landscape pot-boilers and attempted something in the shape of a “picture”, faults — more or less glaring — have marred the success of the production. ...
The Art Gallery Trustees bought “Morning, Middle Harbor”, by J; R. Jackson, for 35 guineas. All Mr. Jackson’s work is good, and he has made a praiseworthy attempt to get away from the purely Nature studies. His “Spring” was evidently inspired by the “Judgment of Paris”, and his “Blue and Gray [sic]” by “After the Bath”. “Spring” shows the nude forms of three girls under the trees, the sunlight striking through the branches. There is the front view of one girl standing up, next her the back view of another standing also, and the back view of one sitting on the bank. The flesh tones are delicate, and the posing graceful, but the figures are faulty. The same model was evidently used for “The Bather”, which shows a female sitting on a rock in the “altogether” in the distance. “Blue and Grey” is a similar “nude” sitting by a pool, the foliage above adding the color. 

Sun, 7/8/1920: Royal Art Society. Creditable Exhibition. 

... Mr. James R. Jackson’s panel of oil paintings attracts by its good craftsmanship. This painter always seems to know what he wants to get, and to get it. The trouble is, from the point of view of his further advance, that he does not want enough. The critic is apt to feel that he thinks more of technique than of the spirit of the thing he is painting, that the very subtle values and color-shades of nature are discarded by him instinctively because they might interfere with the scheme of the picture he is painting. These, however, are just the thing that a landscape painter should not discard. Looking at the panel of pleasant, painterlike pictures, one feels at times that one attempt — one failure to attack a problem outside his compass, to paint exactly what he sees — would be a sign of artistic progress.

Herald, 9/8/1920: Paintings exhibited by Arts Club Display

 (By A. COLQUHOUN.)  An exhibition of painting by members of the Australian Arts Club, society which has its home in Sydney, was opened today at the Decoration Gallery, Collins street.  The collection is of a varied character, comprising works in oils, water colors, black and white, and different reproductive processes, while the standard of merit, though normally high, is uneven.
Elliott Gruner is represented by three paintings in oils, the larger of which, ’Twixt Shadow and Shine, is a missfire, but the others, Serpentine Hill and Frosty Morning (particularly [the] former) represent the artist at [his] best. James R. Jackson is a prominent exhibitor. His transcript of Sydney Harbor and its environment are handled with breadth and feeling, though in his figure subjects, such as Waiting, there is a tendency to repetition, and to the development of an obviously well-known manner.  ...

Sydney Morning Herald, 7/8/1920: Art Society. The Spring Exhibition

... Mr. James R Jackson sends in one of the most important canvases of his career in “Spring,” an allusion to the youthful charm of three girls disrobed on the banks beneath green trees before bathing. The warm tones of the surfaces mostly in shadow are true to nature, because they arise from the light which filters through the foliage; and there is the great quality of grace in the composition. Next to this work in artistic value comes “Morning, Middle Harbour.” Here the figures in the foreground are finely placed, whilst the silvery sheen of the water, in viewing which the spectator faces the sun, completes the spell of a lovely scene. This work has been acquired by the trustees. ...

Daily Telegraph, 6/8/1920: National Art Gallery. New Pictures

The following purchases were made by the trustees of the National Art Gallery yesterday from the annual exhibition of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales, namely: —
Oil Paintings: No. 2. Nasturtiums, Margaret Preston, 12 guineas; No. 97, Summer, Margaret Preston, 12gns.; No. 16. Morning, Middle Harbor, J. R. Jackson, 35gns.

Evening News, 27/12/1919: Australian Art Values. A Belated Recognition. Instructive Comparisons

...Undoubtedly their growing fame abroad has done much to create some of the splendor of the present boom time. Well known collectors like Arthur Pitt, Dr. Abbott, the late J. F. Archibald, Sir Baldwin Spencer, Leonard Dodds, and Howard Hinton, continually on the lookout to acquire a new Streeton, Lambert, Bunny, or Longstaff, never neglected the work offering by the newer and younger generation of painters, which includes Gruner, W. B. McInnes, Norman and Lionel Lindsay, Percy Leason, W. M. MacNally, J. R. Eldershaw, Florence Rodway, Will Ashton, James R. Jackson, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Mary Edwards, Penleigh Boyd, Cumbrae Stewart, J. J. Hilder, and others.

Bulletin, 20/11/1919: From an Adelaide Critic

Adelaide has for over 20 years been battling along with an annual Federal Art show, and thinks it quite time that Sydney and Melbourne joined in to make it a once-in-three-years affair for each city. Meanwhile the 22nd Adelaide collection is the best for some years past. J. R. Jackson (N.S.W.) is versatile. His Middle Harborscape has been bought for S. A. Gallery

Evening News, 22/8/1919: Appeal of the Picture.  Royal Art Society’s Show

...  James
R. Jackson has succeeded very well in a large figure subject, “A Romance,” the color scheme being suitable for this style of composition, and the modelling strong. Color-schemes largely occupy the artist’s attention in several sunlit seascapes, some of which are artistic in treatment, notably the small view in Middle Harbor, bathed in the strong glare of noon, “The Landing Place,” and “Cremorne.” ....

Table Talk, 3/7/1919: The Australian Arts Club’s exhibition…
The Australian Arts Club’s exhibition at Loftus Galleries is one bright spot where long faces are not seen these days, for, in spite of the general melancholy that prevails elsewhere on account of the all-pervading microbe, there hasn’t been such a successful show in this town for many a long day. and at the end of the first week the purchases amounted to over £800. As most of the pictures are small in size, this is quite a record, and artists outside this particular club are wondering how it is done. Among the fortunate sellers are W. B. McInnes, who sold a 25-guinea canvas to a private buyer; Hans Heysen, whose 40-guinea picture is to remain in this State; Percy Leason, who sold two pictures at 25 guineas each; and James Jackson, who sold two at 20 and one at 15 guineas.

Sydney Morning Herald, 14/6/1919: The Arts Club. First Exhibition. Wide Range and Fine Work

...  Mr. James R. Jackson’s oils strengthen the exhibition in varied directions. In “The Beach, Manly,” he reproduces the heat-haze over sea and sky, and touches of colour in the strolling figures give a holiday gaiety to the scene. “The Necklace” has value for the technical skill of the blue-grey transparent shadow over the girl’s muslin flecked with sunlight; “Near Silent Waters” is another art success arising from the treatment of sunlight through a white parasol upon the nude torso of a surf girl; and “Waiting,” a woman seated on a punt in a boat-house gazing at the little sail upon the tranquil water beyond, charms by its parity of tone and sentiment. ...

Daily Telegraph, 14/6/1919: Australian Arts Club. Representative Exhibition. Pictures for the home .

The most pleasing of James R. Jackson’s panels, in which everything from figure studies to atmospheric effects a tackled, is a small painting of girls on a river, full of sunlight. .... The trustees of the National Art Gallery [ paid an official visit to the exhibition of the Australian Arts Club yesterday, and purchased the following works: — “The River,” by Penleigh Boyd, 30 gns.; “Haymakers,” by W. B. M‘Innes, 25 gns.; “Waiting” by J. R. Jackson, 15 gns.; “The Ferry,” by M. J. M‘Nally, 15 gns.; “Basket Willows,” by M. J. M‘Nally. 12 gns.; “Doors, Windsor,” by Sydney Ure Smith, 7 gns.; “Bank of N.S.W.” by Sydney Ure Smith, 8 gns.

Triad, 10/5/1919:
The Australia Arts Club

For a long time a club was needed as a meeting and working place for artists in Sydney, and about three years ago the club was started in a modest way. Now the members who attend the weekly dinner in their rooms at Penzance Chambers, Elizabeth Street, Sydney, represent a very strong body. Many well-known artists in New South Wales and other States are members and will be showing examples of their work in the exhibition. ...
Mr. James R. Jackson has been painting around Sydney and also made several sketches during a recent visit to Victoria. His landscapes ire painted with fine feeling, and he is striking a strong note of individuality. ...

Art in Australia 1917Art in Australia, 3rd number, 1917: James R. Jackson
By Bertram Stevens. Illustrated by 'Morning in the Studio'

In connection with the advantages of a European training for an Australian artist, James R. Jackson's advice is: "Go, but do not stay." he is glad that he went to London and Paris, it was a very valuable experience, apart from the opportunity of seeing great pictures. He learned from his teachers what to look for, and how to look at it, for painting purposes. But having got the directions, he felt that he could follow them better in Australia than in England.

"What I saw of Australian artists' work in England" said Jackson, "made me feel that though they had gained in technique, they had lost in spontaneity and emotional value. On my return to Australia I went to look again at Streeton's 'Purple Noon's Transparent Might'. I thought it better than the great majority of modern landscapes I had seen in London or Paris, and better than Streeton's later work; that is, it has more feeling in it, and conveys more to the spectator.  ...

The Sun, 1/9/1916:
Royal Art Society Annual Exhibition. Art and Frightfulness  

The 37th annual exhibition of the Royal Art Society, to be opened to-morrow, and now hung at the gallery in the Education Department’s Building, Bridge-street, suffers, as most exhibitions of the kind must suffer, from the number of pictures allowed in for other than purely artistic reasons. The amateur is strongly in evidence. Still, members of the Art Society admit this difficulty, and have contended against it heroically for many years. It is an established condition which calls for little more comment than the noise made by the trams or Australia’s plethora of politicians.  ....
The most important exhibitor this year is certainly Mr. James R. Jackson. His work shows intention, and some little individuality. His method is fairly forcible, and his color and drawing are good, the former lacking a little, perhaps, in that delicate perception of the essential grey in all outdoor color which is the rarest of all gifts. The trustees of the Art Gallery have bought two of his pictures — perhaps not the best two. He is most successful in “Shell Cove,” which, in spite of its tendency to prettiness in color, is well and cleanly handled, and expresses the effect the painter sought. A good portrait of a little girl is also shown in his collection, sharing with a portrait study in black and green by Mr. Norman Carter the honor of being the best portrait in the exhibition.

Daily Telegraph, 2/10/1915:
The Royal Art Society. Spring Exhibition

With the magnificent gallery in the new building of the Department of Public Instruction in Loftus Street placed at their disposal by the Government the members of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales are able to show their pictures to the very best advantage. ...

One of the strongest and most uniformly meritorious exhibits on the walls is the group of 10 canvases shown by Mr. J. R. Jackson, whose picture “A Morning in the Studio” stands out from the ruck by reason of the agreeable harmonies of the color scheme, the graceful pose of the figure, the adequate rendering of the interior and the skill displayed in the representation of textures. A girlish model in a satin dress looking into a mirror on the studio wall is the subject. Perfect finish in the painting of the accessories, refinement in the pose of the figure, and impeccable draughtsmanship contribute much to the success of this picture. Mr. Jackson shows a very agreeable portrait study of a girl in a blue velvet dress, with a light wrap over her shoulders, entitled “The Floral Scarf,” and there is genuine poetic quality in his picture “The Timber Schooner,” in which the subtle management of light on the hill is responsible for the effect. Another large picture by this artist is entitled “A Summer Morning,” and portrays a girl in shadow spotted with sunshine filtering through the leaves of some saplings — a tricky effect which Abby [a.k.a. Aby] Altson was among the first to introduce in his picture painted some years ago for the trustees of the Melbourne National Gallery, and which many others, including Mr. Phillips Fox, have used since.

Sydney Morning Herald, November 1914: New Purchases

The following works have been purchased by the trustees of the National Art Gallery: ... 'Oleanders', James R. Jackson, 150 guineas, ....

James R Jackson Oleanders in SMHSydney Morning Herald, 16/11/1914: 
"Oleanders", by James R. Jackson

This is the principal contribution made by this painter to this year's show, and is probably the best work he has painted possessing as it does sincerity and charm of style.  

Daily Telegraph, 14/11/1914: The Royal Art Society - Annual Exhibition

... A prolific exhibitor is Mr. James R. Jackson, who shows about a dozen pictures, the largest of which is entitled inadequately 'On a Bright Day'.  ... However, the title does not affect the picture, which is a poetic rendering of a graceful young person gathering wild flowers by the edge of a pool under the shade of a camphor laurel. The shadow on the white dress is purplish, probably on account of the yellow hillside behind and the blue sky above. Look at the bluest of skies through the yellow foliage, say, of an American poplar, on a day of brilliant sunshine, and the blue sky will be changed to purple. The artist has achieved an undoubted success with this work, which shows purity of line and delicacy of coloring, together with sentiment that is clear of sentimentality. Of Mr. Jackson's other pictures, one that catches the eye most definitely is a small canvas labelled 'Summer' a clever little painting of a girl in a thin white skirt which is diaphanous at the sides ...

Sydney Morning Herald, 26/8/1910: Royal Art Society's Exhibition

Yesterday the Royal Art Society’s annual exhibition, (...), was inspected by the trustees of the National Art Gallery. Their most important purchase was Mr. James R. Jackson’s “Maidenhood” (£52 10s), a portrait-study of a girl attired in white, edged with pink, quite remarkable for its poignant sweetness, and the admirably vivid colour of the flesh-tones. The picture will attract attention in the gallery by reason of its captivating qualities. ...

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