Jack Zajac

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Jack Zajac
Born (1929-12-13) December 13, 1929 (age 89)
EducationScripps College, Claremont, California
Known forSculpture, Painting
MovementWest Coast Romantic Surrealism[1]
'Ram's Skull and Horn', bronze sculpture by Jack Zajac, 1976, Honolulu Museum of Art

Jack Zajac (born December 13, 1929) is a Californian West Coast artist who has been concerned with the “Romantic Surrealist tradition”.[2]

”To have a message or an emotional stimulation soaked up by an uncertainty of the Artist’s tool — color — shape — form — which are the punctuation of his message, is a discouraging thing. This is the kind of anemia I’m trying to eliminate.”[3]


Jack Zajac is an American artist who was born December 13, 1929 in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1946, his family moved to southern California. After he graduated from high school, he got a job at Kaiser Steel Mill. This employment helped finance his study of art at Scripps College in Claremont, California from 1949 to 1953. Though Zajac studied art with Millard Sheets at Scripps College, and was a member of the art community that developed in Claremont, California during the mid-20th century,[4] he was admitted as a special, non-degree seeking student.[5] The reason that he was not admitted as a regular student was because Scripps College was then, and remains today, a women's college. Jack Zajac is married to artist, Corda Eby. They have two children, Aaron Zajac and Christian Zajac and three grandchildren, Camille Zajac, Phoebe Zajac and Jack Zajac. His son, Christian Zajac and granddaughter, Camille Zajac are both artists.


In 1948, Zajac won a scholarship at a California State Fair student exhibition in Sacramento. He was named recipient of the Purchase Prize at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1950, which led to his first one-man exhibit. He is known for his sculptures in bronze and marble, as well as his figurative paintings. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. He has been an Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome, Dartmouth College and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Selected solo exhibitions[edit]

Selected retrospectives[edit]

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

Works in museums and public collections[edit]

He is best known for his bronze sculptures that resemble animal skulls, such as Big Open Skull (1966–1973), sited in front of the San Diego Museum of Art, and Ram's Skull and Horn, installed in a courtyard of the Honolulu Museum of Art. Cowell College at UC Santa Cruz, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), The J Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), Palm Springs Art Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Wildling Museum (Solvang, CA) and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) are among the public collections holding works by Jack Zajac.


  1. ^ Painting and sculpture in California, the modern era. p. 109
  2. ^ Painting and sculpture in California, the modern era. p. 109
  3. ^ American abstract and figurative expressionism : style is timely art is timeless : an illustrated survey with artists' statements, artwork and biographies p.244
  4. ^ Bockhorst, Paul (Director) (2014). Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community, 1935-1975 (Videorecording). Monrovia, California: Bockhorst, Paul.
  5. ^ MacNaughton, Mary. Introduction to Art at Scripps: The Early Years http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/7aa/7aa837.htm. Retrieved 2015-06-06. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]