Mar 31, 2022 - Sale 2599

Sale 2599 - Lot 28

Price Realized: $ 13,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 5,000
VERA JACKSON (1911 - 1999)
Dorothy Dandridge.

Silver print, 1945. 352x279 mm; 13 7/8x11 inches. Signed, titled "D. Dandridge", dated "1945", numbered #7/28 in pencil on the over mat. Printed in 1985 with the artist's "Historical Enterprises Vera Jackson" ink stamp on the verso and on the back of the mount.

Provenance: collection of the artist; private collection, Virginia (1988), acquired from the Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles, California.

Vera Ruth (Jackson) was born in 1911 in Wichita, Kansas. After the death of her mother at age 5, Vera and her father relocated to a farm in Corona, California. In 1936, she began taking WPA sponsored photography classes taught by George Manuel. Her first photo job was as an assistant to photographer Maceo Sheffield. She was hired as a staff photographer for the California Eaglein 1945, where she was a pioneer among both female and African American photographers, capturing both the glamour of Black celebrities and the stirrings of the civil rights movement after World War II. She later worked with publisher Charlotta Bass, a leader in the Los Angeles civil rights movement, photographing protests at City Hall. Jackson became a frequent contributor to the letter section of the Los Angeles Times, expressing her view on civil rights.

The artist is best known for her photographs of prominent African Americans of her day, capturing such figures as Billie Holiday, Ralph Bunche, Jackie Robinson, and Dorothy Dandridge in her lens. Between the 1940s and 1950s, Jackson produced a large body of photographic work, and she left the newspaper to pursue higher education. Jackson received her BA in education in 1952 at the University of California at Los Angeles and her MA in 1954 from the University of Southern California. For more than twenty years, she was an educator with the Los Angeles School District. After shifting from full-time photojournalism, Jackson continued to contribute photographs to various magazines, including Black Angelenos, Travel and Art, and Design.

In 1997, Jackson was featured in A History of Women Photographers, a major exhibition that traveled to the New York Public Library and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her works have also been exhibited at the Cinque Gallery, New York, CAAM, the UCLA Gallery, the Riverside Art Museum, the New York Public Library, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, the Akron Art Museum and SF MoMA. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Akron Art Museum.