Sunday, January 10, 2016

America By Art: William Henry Jackson

On The Way West...
O the transporting, rapturous scene,
That rises to my sight!
Sweet fields arrayed in living green,
And rivers of delight!
I am bound for the promised land,
I am bound for the promised land;
Oh who will come and go with me?
I am bound for the promised land.
On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand
Samuel Stennet

Sand Hills 
William Henry Jackson.

 Prolific artist and photographer,
Oregon Trail bullwhacker, world traveler,
 and veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg,
William Henry Jackson was an eye witness to
  taming of the American frontier.
Through paintbrush and camera lens, he 
captured the beauty and majesty of 
this fair land, along with the conflict and
rapid change brought, in the aftermath of
the Civil War, especially to many
 American Indian tribes, whom 
once roamed freely here. 

William Henry Jackson

War Hero

Fold up the banners! Smelt the guns!
Love rules. Her gentler purpose runs.
A mighty mother turns in tears
The pages of her battle years,
Lamenting all her fallen sons.
"The High Tide At Gettysburg"
Will Henry Thompson

The pencil renderings of a young man in time of war...

Picket Duty
William Henry Jackson

William Henry Jackson

Block House at Catlett Station
William Henry Jackson

Rise up and ride the wind, dear child
Soar high on eagles' wings
Though it blow fierce; though it be mild,
Rise above all that it brings. - See more at:


Indigenous Traditions...

Shosone-Bannock Indian family in their tepee
William Henry Jackson

"I regard the Cheyenne tribe of Indians,
 after an acquaintance with
quite a number of bands,
 as the finest body of that race which
I have ever met."
-Ranald S. "Three Fingers" Mackenzie

"The Painted Arrow People" 
Art of the Cheyenne

"All we ask is to be allowed to live, and live in peace...
You may kill me here; but you cannot make me go back.
We will not go.  The only way to get us there is to come
in here with clubs and knock us on the head, and drag us out 
and take us down there dead."
-Dull Knife (Tahmelapashme)
Northern Cheyenne

Portrait of Little Wolf and Dull Knife
 Northern Cheyenne 
William Henry Jackson

The Mystery of the Ancient Ones...

Caves of the Anasazi Cliff Dwellers
William Henry Jackson

 Natural Wonders...

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

"The Old Rugged Cross" 
-George Bennard

"Since 1873, I have been back four or five times.

 I have used the best cameras
 and the most sensitive emulsions on the market.
 I have snapped my shutter, morning, noon and afternoon.
 I have never come close to matching those first plates."
 -William Henry Jackson 
(On photographing The Mountain of the Holy Cross)

Mount of the Holy Cross
William Henry Jackson

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of Mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

The Railway Train
-Emily Dickinson

Marshall Pass West Side
William Henry Jackson

" Down in the valley the valley so low
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
Hear the wind blow love, hear the wind blow
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow"

 Traditional American Folk Song

Yosemite Valley
William Henry Jackson

Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park
William Henry Jackson

Although much of Jackson's work behind the camera

 focused on the spectacular geographical beauty 
of the western United States,
 he photographed in many states, 
and in other places around the world,
 including, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba, 
not to mention India, China, Korea, and Siberia,
 where he visited a prison camp, and managed to
 photograph convicts working on
the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Grand Canyon
William Henry Jackson

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