University of Arizona

                                             Special Collections will be closed December 20, 2023 through January 1, 2024 in observance of the University Holiday break.

Linda Diane Jackson Collection

Linda Diane Jackson was born in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1948. She received her B.S. in Education from Oklahoma City University in 1971. In 1985, Jackson obtained her MFA in Photography from the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. It was during her time in school that she completed her photo/video montage of the retired strip tease artist, "Olive", which is featured in the collection. Jackson was able to further develop her interest in documenting seasoned entertainers when she became involved with the stage production of “Ode to A Bit Player” (1986-1987). The photographic work she did with the cast, or “bit players,” is also strongly represented in the collection.

In the 1990s, Jackson left California—and her life in the arts—to open a yoga studio in Nichols Hill, OK. Linda Diane Jackson remained living in her beloved Oklahoma until February, 28, 2009—the day she lost her battle with cancer.

Photographs, negatives, contact sheets, slides, film reels, DVDs, VHS tapes, printed announcements, transcripts of interviews, circa 1900-1990 (bulk 1985-1987). This collection is comprised of two major photography projects created by Linda Diane Jackson. The first project is described as a "photo/video montage" of the former strip-tease artist, Olive Sherman. The photographs depict Olive posing in various locations and in various outfits. The project is also made up of images taken by Jackson of preexisting photographic and printed memorabilia associated with Olive’s youth and time as a performer. These composite photographs are often referred to as “appropriations” by Jackson in her notations.

The second project involves the documentation of both former vaudevillian entertainers and their memorabilia. Many of the individuals that appear in the collection were cast members of “Ode to a Bit Player”, a stage production of The Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. These images depict the entire cast during rehearsals, performances, studio sessions, and even at the red carpet premiere. Individually, the cast members—as well with other vaudevillians not associated with the theatre production—have been photographically captured doing everyday activities and even demonstrating their own talents. Jackson also made photographic appropriations of the mementos shared by these individuals, just as she did with the keepsakes belonging to Olive.