Most Atlantans are likely familiar with Buckhead’s reputation as a shopping and dining hub, but they should know there’s another worthy destination in the neighborhood. Jackson Fine Art is a 20th–century and contemporary photography gallery gem in a converted quaint ‘n’ cozy 1935 Tudor-style home about a mile south of Lenox Square mall.
“We’re a world-class gallery in the South. Warm, approachable and personal,” says Jackson Fine Art gallery director Coco Conroy. “There’s this really cool, strong lineage of female ownership and female-heavy staff.” The gallery celebrated its 30th birthday last year.
Namesake Jane Jackson opened the gallery in 1990 and sold it to Anna Walker Skillman in 2003. Skillman, who still owns Jackson Fine Art, was its gallery director for six years, before Jackson became curator of the Sir Elton John Photography Collection.
Jackson Fine Art’s Southern hospitality extends nation- and worldwide. It typically does five exhibitions per year, an annual private collections show and salon, and has a heavy internet and art fair presence. There’s also an opportunity to see how a piece will look in your home, with this app.
See the art in person by scheduling an appointment. Eat Flowers, photography, text and sculpture by Maine artist Cig Harvey, and Persephone, processed photography by Dahlonega-raised Angela West, are on view through May 15. You can see both shows online as well, plus Maxine Taupin’s Photography Collection (through May 13). Taupin’s collection features 32 works by 21 photographers, including French-American documentarian Elliott Erwitt, the great Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898–1995)and street artist Weegee, aka Arthur Fellig (1899–1968).
THE PARTICULARS: 3115 East Shadowlawn Ave. 404.233.3739. Open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday by appointment. Masks and social distancing required. There are a few parking spots behind the gallery and free street parking is usually available. Follow Jackson Fine Art on Facebook and Instagram.
SPECIALTY: Twentieth–century and contemporary photography across traditional and innovative mediums. Walker Skillman and Conroy like to pair two photographers at a time so that there’s a conversation between works. Sometimes they’ll feature a third artist in the gallery’s small viewing room. Chat with either woman, and you’re likely to learn a fun fact or two. Most exhibitions feature a signature wall-paint color, for example. Right now it’s aqua blue. Also, the building houses an office space that in Buckhead days of yore was a fur vault.
Among its 90-plus artists, Jackson Fine Art hosts an increasing number of process-based photographers like Harvey and West, along with West Coast-based Meghann Riepenhoff, who’s from Atlanta; Virginia-based Sally Mann; Californian John Chiara; and New Yorker Joseph Szabo.
NEXT: Harvey gives a closing talk and signs her forthcoming monograph, Blue Violet, on May 8. A Mona Kuhn exhibition, with book signing, opens May 15. An exhibition featuring Paris-based Saïdou Dicko, a self-taught artist from Burkino Faso, opens in July.
MOST MEMORABLE: “We got to show some of Mann’s Remembered Light and Landscapes in 2019. Mann was here for a book signing. There were so many people here. Mann was on the floor surrounded by books signing as fast as she could. It’s the only time that I’ve ever felt like a bouncer,” Conroy says, laughing. That same night, Mann predicted that pregnant gallery manager Ashley Banks would have a girl (she was right). “We’ve even had a woman come in who saw her 12-year-old self in one of Sally Mann’s photographs.”
LAST WORD: “Every exhibition is as amazing as the last because they’re such collective efforts for us. We feel like we not only occupy the artists’ work for a time, but the whole atmosphere of the gallery changes. It’s really interesting working with the artists, working with the collectors that I love so much. Jackson Fine Art is more of a destination where you’d want to return again and again,” Conroy says, “I have a different favorite photograph every day.”