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Celebrating the Life

January 31, 2006 - 12:00am

AUSTIN, Texas (January 31, 2006) -- "Embrujo mexicano," an exhibit of photographs by George O. Jackson, Jr., opens Thursday, February 9, 2006, on the first floor of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The public is invited to attend the opening reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The 30 photographs in this exhibition, on view through August 31, 2006, were chosen from 76,000 slides that resulted from Jackson's Essence of Mexico Project. During the eleven-year Project, Jackson traveled throughout Mexico to photograph important festivals of more than sixty indigenous cultures as they existed in the final decade of the twentieth century.

Jackson points out that "During festival times, indigenous folk cultures are steeped in the cultural activity that defines them. Much like a flower in bloom, the celebrants seem to release their essence-the essence of Mexico. My intention was to try to make art out of their art by attempting to capture this essence in photographs."

Illustration:  El turco (1991).  The George O. Jackson Essence of Mexico Collection, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.  Reprinted with the permission of the photographer, George O. Jackson, JrCurated by the Project's editor, Kathy Marcus, these images capture some of the unique cultural activities encountered by the photographer. For an online slide show of the Benson exhibition, prepared by the photographer and the exhibition's curator see: http://homepage.mac.com/gojjr/PhotoAlbum93.html.

The Essence of Mexico Collection was donated by George O. Jackson, Jr. to the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection in 2001. A major exhibition featuring the Essence of Mexico Collection will open at the Smithsonian Institution in September, 2007, in Washington, DC.

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The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection embodies more than 80 years of The University of Texas at Austin's commitment to create and maintain a specialized research library dedicated to the culture and history of Latin America and of U.S. Latinos. The Benson Collection is part of the University of Texas Libraries. The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is located in Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 1, on the east side of campus at the northwest corner of Red River and Clyde Littlefield Drive (formerly Manor Road) Parking is available in Lot 38, adjacent to Sid Richardson Hall, with entry from Red River Street.

 

 

Additional information:
George O. Jackson Essence of Mexico Collection, 1990-2002, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection

 

 

 

Contact:
Ann Hartness, Head Librarian, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection
University of Texas Libraries

 

Illustration: El turco (1991). The George O. Jackson Essence of Mexico Collection, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. Reprinted with the permission of the photographer, George O. Jackson, Jr

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