Lorene Jackson Western Art and Illustration Collection, Undated - 2010 | University of North Texas Special Collections
The Lorene Jackson Western Art and Illustration Collection showcases Lorene Jackson’s admiration for the West in art and literature. It is a manuscript collection of correspondence between Jackson and Southern Methodist University's De Golyer Library regarding the Library of Texas, publications which include articles and clippings, subject files which include research on Texas Ranger Leander McNelly and illustrator J.M. Wong, posters of movie stills from Sand and Smoky, prints with reproductions of Will James' artwork including greeting cards, stationery, and oversize prints.
The collection's focus is on Will James who was an author and artist of the American West and the legend of the Cowboy. James wrote and illustrated many novels and short stories during his career including Smoky the Cowhorse, Sand, Lone Cowboy, and The Three Mustangs. Five feature films were made from works created by James: Dymka, Shoot Out, Smoky, Sand, and Lone Cowboy. The collection highlights the prolific career of Will James with its inclusion of articles about the American West in the papers series as well as the many illustrations showcased in the prints series.
The manuscript materials are part of a larger collection of Western books donated by Lorene Jackson’s son, Marc Jackson. Both the book and manuscript collections celebrate the iconic American West and how it has inspired many authors, illustrators, and photographers to capture and document its allegorical nature. Throughout many of the works included in the collection, the American West is itself a character in its own right, as well as the idea of freedom. In this landscape, which exemplifies the dualism of creation and ruin, the legend of the Cowboy, as well as the legend of animals such as Smoky the Cowhorse, is built upon a delicate relationship with the West; shaping characters to echo the transformations seen in the land.
Several of Will James titles are included in Jackson’s Texana collection: The dark horse (1939); The drifting cowboy (1925); Horses I’ve Known (1940); Lone Cowboy; my life story (1930); Sand (1929); Scorpion, a good bad horse (1936); Smoky, the Cowhorse (1929, 1957); Sun up: tales of the cow camps (1931); and The three mustangers (1933).
These are titles written about Will James: Ride for the high points: the real story of Will James (1987); Will James, The Gilt Edged Cowboy (1930); Will James: the life and works of a lone cowboy (1987); and Will James: the spirit of the cowboy (1985).
Jackson was a member of the Will James Society – a society founded in 1992 dedicated to preserving the memory of Will James – and also collected the society’s periodical, Cowboys north and south. Issues from Fall 1993 to Spring 2010 are included in Jackson’s Texana Collection.
Other titles pertinent to the manuscript collection contents include: The Alamo story: from early history to current conflicts (2000); Leander McNelly: Texas Ranger: he just kept on keepin’ on (1998); The log of a cowboy: a narrative of the old trail days (1964, 1996); Old ranches of the Texas Plains: an exhibit of paintings (2001); Powder River; let ‘er buck (1938); Songs of the cowboys (1921); Taming the Nueces Strip; the story of McNelly’s rangers (1962); The West: a treasury of art and literature (1994); The west that was; from Texas to Montana (1958); Western Words: a dictionary of the American West (1968). Titles from the De Golyer Library and William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies: The Diary of William Fairfax Gray: from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837 (1997); Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe expedition comprising a description of a tour through Texas and across the great Southwestern prairies, the Camanche and Caygua hunting grounds, with an account of the sufferings from the want of food, losses from hostile Indians, and final capture of the Texans and their march, as prisoners, to the city of Mexico (2004); and North America, particularly Texas, in the year 1849: a travel account: a book for emigrants, especially for persons enthusiastic about emigration (1999).