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Visual Arts Exhibit: Jack Robinson Archives—New Light

  • GPAC—Lobby 1801 Exeter Road Germantown, TN 38138 United States (map)

GPAC celebrates the visual arts by exhibiting a diverse collection of artwork by emerging and professional artists from around the region like Jack Robinson.

In the Lobby Gallery September 18 - October 31
with an artist's reception on
October 19 from 5:00 - 7:00pm. Everyone is welcome.

Jack Robinson, Jr. was born in Meridian, Mississippi on September 18, 1928. He grew up in Clarksdale, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Jack graduated from Clarksdale High School in 1945 and attended Tulane University in New Orleans from 1946 to 1948. Living in New Orleans in the 1950s, he worked as a graphic artist and developed his skill as a hobby photographer.

In 1955, Jack moved to New York City to pursue a career in photography. He quickly proved his talent as a freelance fashion photographer and caught the eye of Carrie Donovan, then a fashion editor at the New York Times. Carrie began giving Jack regular assignments for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, which helped drive his freelance work for other notable agencies and clients, including Elizabeth Arden, Revlon, and Helena Rubenstein. After only four years in New York, Jack reached something of a pinnacle for photographers: the cover of Life magazine.

In 1965, Jack followed Carrie to Vogue. Thousands of Jack's images appeared in the pages of Vogue, more than 500 of which were credited. Early in 1966, Carrie Donovan and Jack came up with the idea of photographing celebrities as they shopped for clothes in New York. This idea turned into the hugely popular regular feature "Vogue's Own Boutique."

By late 1971, years of parties, hard living, and excessive drinking had worn Jack down. A year later, Jack decided that this period of his life was over, and he moved back to Memphis to help take care of his aging parents. In 1975, with the help of a few good friends, Jack began to address his addictions. He finally quit drinking and decided to begin a new career. He would never take another professional photography assignment again.

For the next twenty years, Jack designed stained glass for Rainbow Studio in Memphis, winning awards and commissions for some of the most spectacular windows in Memphis and throughout the South. Only after he passed away from cancer in 1997 was his incredible body of work discovered: thousands of priceless negatives organized neatly in boxes and envelopes. This was Jack's legacy.

For more information and to see the rest of Jack's work, visit:
The Jack Robinson Gallery
400 South Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103

Special thanks to our
Visual Arts Exhibition Show Sponsor,
The Lawrence Lewis Foundation!

Earlier Event: May 12
Flex Pass Subscription
Later Event: September 27
Jazz in the Box: 3D Jazz Trio