Jason (Jessie) Emerson Herron

Theme/Style – Art Deco, Modernism, figurative art

Media – Bronze, marble, stone

Artistic Focus – Jason Herron’s works were mostly figural, often strong portrayals of women, and were notable for the beauty and power in their faces and forms. Los Angeles Times critic Arthur Millier compared her to Rodin and wrote of Herron in 1931: “She has that feeling of life flowing, not only through the body of man, but through his soul, too, which invests her figures with a troubled dignity. They live.”

Career Highlights –

• Jessie Emerson Herron was born in Denver, Colorado in 1900.
• Graduating with honors from Stanford University, Herron went on to study at the Los Angeles County Art Institute, the University of Southern California, the Otis Art Institute under Julia Bracken Wendt, and privately with Merrell Gage.
• In 1926 Herron traveled to Europe for further study, including in Paris at the Academie Colarossi. It was at this time that she officially changed her name to Jason, a name she felt was a stronger expression of her artistic personality.
• For two decades thereafter, Jason Herron was among the leading women sculptors in California. Her first large-scale exhibition took place in 1931 at the Salon of the Ebell Club in Los Angeles.
• Under the auspices of the Federal Art Project, Herron created Art Deco style sculptures for many public buildings and monuments. With her colleagues Henry Lion and Sherry Peticolas she created the figure Power of Water for Lafayette Park in Los Angeles
• Eventually becoming an assistant supervisor for the Federal Art Project, in 1937 Jason Herron created a life-size statue in cast stone of a young athlete, called Modern Youth, for Belmont High School in Los Angeles.
• During the late 1940s Herron became increasingly active in promoting the artistic culture of Los Angeles, and for many years she served on the Board of Governors of both the Los Angeles County Art Institute and the Otis Art Institute.
• Herron exhibited widely and often during her career, at – among others – the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco; in Los Angeles at the L.A. County Museum of Art, the California Art Club, and the L.A. Art Association; at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jason Herron passed away in Ventura, California in 1984.