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(1895 - 1964)

William E. Jordan was, by most accounts, a remarkable person. After losing his sight to glaucoma at age 62 in 1957, he developed a method of color drawing, producing numerous vibrantly colored works of art in the remaining seven years of his life. For Jordan, like many self-taught artists who trace the beginnings of their productivity to life-changing events, this traumatic change prompted a blossoming of creativity.

A foundling, left on church steps in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jordan spent his formative years with foster families and in orphanages in Savannah, Georgia. As a young man, he briefly attended medical college, traveled the country by foot and by train, and served in WW I. Jordan's post war years were equally restless, but he eventually settled into an accounting job which ended as he began to lose his sight.

In 1957, Jordan began to make pencil drawings from memory, and in a matter of months developed a method which would later be called "braille drawing." This technique included pressing down on the paper with a pencil tip to create indentations forming the outline of an image. He then selected color pencils from a special holder his wife arranged, and methodically filled in areas of color, guided by the indentations in the paper, and working in a carefully controlled area between two outstretched fingers. He taught this method in schools for the blind, and formed his own non-profit association for encouraging sight-impaired students.

Unpopulated landscapes were Jordan's predominant subject, most of them representing memories of peaceful retreats from the man-made world. The serenity of his work belies the restlessness and traumatic events of his life. Though Jordan never depicted the human figure, he usually included evidence of human activity.

William E. Jordan died in 1964. The Barbara Archer Gallery is the exclusive representative of his estate.