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JACKSON, Helen


Location:
Present Whereabouts Unknown.

Category: .

Notes

Painted in 1918, possibly in Boston. The following letter was written from the Hotel Touraine, Boston on November 18, 1918 and is in the artist’s papers:

‘Dear Mr. Muller-Ury:

I think I need hardly tell you that I am more than delighted with your portrait of Helen. At first I was not sure that I liked the expression. I felt that it was not exactly characteristic of her – as I see her. But the more I looked at it the more clearly I could see her in it. Today I would not have it changed in the slightest degree. To me it is perfect. I never tire looking at it.

I suppose I would classed as the rankest sort of amateur in judging art. But if I can find increasing interest in a portrait – see new aspects of it, find hitherto hidden depths – I feel that I am appreciating something of the marvelous touch of the artist, something of his wonderful power in beingable to put life upon a canvas. To me Helen is living again in your portrait.

Two or three years ago I was called in to see a portrait of a very good friend. At first glance the likeness seemed there. But I soon noticed the portrait did not hold me. It ceased to attract. There was no depth there. The artist had painted my friends’ face and features – he had failed utterly to portray his spirit or his personality.

Already Helen’s portrait is my (Helen says it is mine) most treasured possession. And as the years go by it will become more and more dear to me.

I want to thank you with all my heart for this priceless gift, and express the hope that I may some day have the pleasure of meeting and thanking you personally.

Sincerely, W. M. Jackson.’


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