Photographic Notes on the Road

J. B. Jackson, 1955-1989
Curator: Jordi Ballesta

Photographic Notes on the Road
J. B. Jackson, Dillon Beach, 1971. From the J. B. Jackson Pictorial Materials Collection Center for Southwest, UNM, 2-F-13.

The J. B. Jackson Collections at the UNM Center for Southwest Research contain manuscripts, talks, reading notes, letters and annotated slides. However, the only example of Jackson making field notes is a unique field diary written during a 1957 trip through Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. In the absence of any other field notes, the 5,500 Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides in the collections suggest that he preferred these photographic notes to written notation. While Jackson also made drawings in the field, his much more numerous slides provide the primary source for apprehending his way of studying landscapes.

This exhibition focuses on Jackson’s collecting and recording methods. The images he chose to capture during brief roadside pauses while traveling by car and motorcycle reveal his brand of empirical and itinerant geography. Excerpts from the 1957 journal, four of his drawings, and maps recreating his travel routes will help contextualize his field slides, sixty-six of which appear as prints in the exhibition.

Photos: Sonia Keravel