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Jackson biographers Larry Pointer and Donald Goddard wrote, “Narrative action is also at the center of Pony Express. From any single view the impact of what is happening is immediate. Even a detail, such as the horse’s frightened eye, conveys the story in some important way. Every view amplifies the narration, like the verses of a cowboy ballad—how the hat brim pushes back and the coattail flaps in the wind, the horse’s mouth strains at the bit, the knees crook and pantslegs crease as they tighten against the saddle, the horse floats on one foreleg, the grim visage of the rider squints down the barrel of the gun, the arm snaps out in a taut arc as the hand squeezes off a shot.

“In Pony Express the anonymous courage and heroism of Jackson’s earlier figures are made both more specific and more universal. The image is immediately recognizable as the symbol of an epoch in American history, the first of several such heroic figures that dominate Jackson’s later work.”

PROVENANCE
The Estate of Harry Jackson

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