Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jessiejo Eckford: Dallas Native and Artist of Western Scenes

JessieJo Eckford
Mosquito Fleet Galveston
ca. 1933
Woodblock print
Painter and woodcut artist Jessiejo Eckford was born November 25, 1895 in Dallas, Texas. Her unusual name is a combination of her mother's; Jessie, and her father's; Joseph, a local judge. She lived her entire, but relatively brief life of only forty-six years in Dallas, but traveled extensively to paint around the state of Texas. In addition, she created art in New Mexico; Mexico; Massachusetts; the Ozarks; New York; and internationally when she toured the world in the mid-1920s.

Eckford began her art training in Dallas at the Aunspaugh Art School and later studied with Hale W. Bolton and Frank Reaugh in Texas. She also trained in Los Angeles and in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In 1929, Eckford won $250 in the Edgar B. Davis Texas Wildflower Competition with her painting, Prickly Pear.

Texas:Early Texas Art - Regionalists, JESSIEJO (JESSIE JO) ECKFORD (American, 1895-1941). Birches onLake Carlos, 1929. Oil on panel. 10 x 13-1/2 inches (25.4...
JessieJo Eckford
Birches on Lake Carlos
ca. 1929
 Oil on panel
 10 x 13-1/2 inches 
Prior to 1930, Eckford painted primarily in oil, but after that year, she gravitated towards working with wood blocks and watercolors.

JessieJo Eckford
Monterey, Mexico
ca. 1920s
Watercolor on paper
In 1934, she had a one-person exhibition in Dallas at the Joseph Sartor Galleries. The names of her works reflect her interest in western scenes, particularly of Texas such as Bluebonnets; Garza Prairie; and Afternoon, West Texas. There was a certain element of expressive, romantic fantasy in her buildings and landscapes.

JessieJo Eckford
Uncle Ben
ca. 1934
  woodcut on paper
6 x 8 inches 
Group shows include the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Print Club of Albany, New York; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; International Printmakers, Los Angeles, California; Washington Watercolor Club, Washington, D.C.; American Watercolor Society, New York City; Midwestern Artists, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Southern States Art League.

Eckford also exhibited in many Texas venues: the Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio; Centennial Exposition, Dallas; Texas Fine Art Association, Austin; San Antonio Competitive Exhibition; Fort Worth Museum of Art; Dallas State Fair; and Dallas Women's Forum.

Jessiejo Eckford died in Dallas on December 5, 1941 after a long illness.

Eckford's work is in the collections of the Witte Memorial Museum, and the Elisbet Ney Museum, Austin, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, University of Texas Press, Austin.
University of North Texas Digital Library, Jess Edith Self, History of the Growth of Art Interest in Texas in the Last Two Decades. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc75321/m1/42/, (retrieved February 17, 2014).

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