PARKERSBURG - An 1885 self-portrait of one of Parkersburg most acclaimed artists has been returned to the Blennerhassett Museum after being restored.
Ray Swick, historian for Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, unveiled the restored work by Lilly Irene Jackson Tuesday afternoon.
"She's the most famous woman to live in Parkersburg," Swick said.
Ray Swick, historian for Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, talks about the recently returned, restored painting of Lilly Irene Jackson. The 1885 self-portrait is one of only three known to exist of one of Parkersburg’s most acclaimed artists. The restored work, which hangs in the Blennerhassett Museum, was returned last week. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
"And Parkersburg's most famous painter."
The Lady Astor-style pose painting was found a few years ago. The work was discovered in the basement of a home in rough condition.
The museum acquired the painting last year due to a $2,500 grant from the Wood County Commission.
Wood County Commission President Blair Couch said the grant was provided from state lottery funds.
"It helps us make our community a better place," he said.
"Maybe gambling is getting some bad press," quipped Swick.
Officials sent the artwork to the Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland to have both the frame and canvas restored. The restoration cost $7,500 and was paid by an anonymous donor, Swick said.
Swick said restoration efforts took about three months. The painting was returned to the museum last week.
Jackson, the only daughter of Judge John J. Jackson Jr. and Carrie Glimes Jackson, was born in 1848. She was primarily known for her paintings of animals and flower arrangements. Her 1885 self-portrait was based on a photograph taken of herself by John D. Callawader, a photographer from Detroit, Mich. The self-portrait is one of only three known to exist. The remaining two have not yet been found.
When Jackson died in 1928 she willed her art to the city of Parkersburg, on the condition an art gallery would be founded. The city decided not to fund such a gallery in 1929 and Jackson's personal items, including about a 130 artworks, were auctioned.
The museum has eight of Jackson's painting.