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Jackson Lee Nesbitt
(b. Oaklahoma, 1913)

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A student of Midwestern Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton, Jackson Lee Nesbitt created a body of prints recalling rural life in the Midwest during the Great Depression. Nesbitt studied at the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1930s and early 40s, where he worked with Benton and Regionalist painter John de Martelly. As a student and a young artist, he created numerous paintings and prints largely in the American Scene tradition of familiar, everyday subject matter.

In the etching "November Evening," for example, a farmer rides on his horse through the center of a countryside. Phagan describes the work as "drawn in great, loving detail, the split-rail fence, grasses and fields, and finger-like clouds of dusk framing the composition. Nesbitt executed the scene with fine networks of infinitesimal lines, flecks and crosshatchings, which were drawn on a wax-covered plate and etched in stages, the resulting crevices filled with ink, and. lastly, the plate printed."

According to Nesbitt, "Tom Benton and I were on a trip together and were making a drawing of this muddy road when the old guy on the horse rode by. Thinking we were surveyors, he allowed the road could stand some 'fixin' up."

In the 1950s, as interest in Regionalism waned, Nesbitt turned to commercial art. Much later, in the 1980s, in the midst of a nationwide renewed appreciation of art from the Depression years, he returned to printmaking and created a number of lithographs with imagery inspired by previous works and by his life in the Midwest.


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Late 19th and early 20th century American art with an emphasis on the 1930s since 1977
international fine print dealers association