Jo Hanson’s Art

1990 Eleanor Dickinson and Jo Hanson

One of the closest friends of my mother, Eleanor Dickinson was Jo Hanson (1918 – 2007). Like herself, Jo’s art was always interesting, precise, well-considered, and different. Three of Jo’s pieces owned by my family are good examples:

  • An oak coffee table she made for me in 1982 out of scrap wood Jo salvaged from abandoned shipping pallets
  • A plywood cutout painting of two figures taken from a news photo
  • Foam tombstones and pictures of leaves from the trees near “The Crab Orchard Cemetery” from a 1974 exhibition of that name based on Jo’s Southern Illinois ancestral graveyard

One of my favorite Jo Hanson memories is hearing her talk about taking on the IRS. The tax service kept auditing her. Year after year, they said that Jo could not deduct her art supplies because was a only a hobbyist since never made a profit. Her many art exhibits, career as a San Francisco Arts Commissioner, and National Endowment for the Arts artist’s fellowship made no impression on the IRS. After many years of fighting, she eventually convinced the IRS that she had a citizen’s right to be in an unprofitable profession. Only Jo could have won that battle with such style and energy.

Jo Hanson Oak Coffeetable 1982 . Jo Hanson plywood painting

Crab Orchard Cemetery Jo Hanson

Images Copyright 1982-2011 by Katy Dickinson

Leave a comment

Filed under Home & Family, News & Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s