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Ned Jacob

Birth place or City of origin: Elizabethton
State of origin: TN
Last known City: Denver
Last known State: CO
Start/Birth date: 1938
Death/End date:

A painter of the contemporary Westerner, Ned Jacob was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee but made his home in Denver from 1966. He is particularly known for the authenticity of his Indian subjects.

He spent his childhood in New Jersey and then hitchhiked to Montana with fifty dollars and a high school diploma in his pocket. He worked at a trading post and met the painter Ace Powell, who gave him lessons in the basics of art. To learn about their ways and collect artifacts, he lived among the Blackfeet Indians and did many historically important paintings of these subjects.

In 1961, feeling that he still lacked direction went to Taos, New Mexico to be in an area of accomplished artists. There he met Nicolai Fechin and was heavily influenced by him, and he also took drawing lessons from Bettina Steinke and painting from A.D. Greer and Robert Lougheed. He lived in Walter Ufer's old studio, and his style became similar to that of the Old Taos Painters.

“My goal in drawing,” he states, “is to describe the subject accurately and expressively with a minimum of means. I work quickly. I have a strong tendency to put things down simply. I just can’t seem to work slow.”

A dealer described his technique as “Ned draws the way other people talk.” A painter asserted that Jacob’s work “makes a strong first impression. He hits you as hard as he can.”

By 1966, he was settled in Denver, and shortly after came to be regarded as an accomplished artist, earning recognition including membership in the Cowboy Artists of America and the Academy of Western Art. However, he quit both groups because he did not believe in competing with his peers.


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