Fashion and still life photographer Walter Jackson of Southampton and Manhattan died last week of natural causes. He was 81. Among his clients were Harper’s Bazaar, Estée Lauder and Motor Boating and Sailing Magazine.
Born in Chatham, Ontario, Mr. Jackson served in the Royal Canadian Navy for five years during the Korean War. He studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal before moving to Provincetown in the ’60s, when he painted with the abstract expressionists. After moving to New York City, he worked as a portraitist and studied photography. Inspired by Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, he opened a commercial photography studio that he ran for 25 years. His experiments with the artistic uses of holograms brought Salvador Dalí to his studio. He built a polyhedron of Atlas holding the world for Dalí and photographed the artist for a gallery show that included Dalí’s homage to Marilyn Monroe and his tribute to Velázquez.
An avid sailor, Mr. Jackson was also an inspired renaissance man, survivors said. He carved carousel horses for his daughter, built and flew model airplanes, raced a Formula Ford race car with French race car driver Jacques Vaucher, built two boats and invented a photographic navigational system that turned out to be similar to one used by NASA on the moon.
The past decade of his life was chiefly devoted to oil painting, initially in the style of his favorite painters, John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla, followed by original dramatic seascapes and contemplative landscapes.
At 78, he yearned to explore the canals of Europe. He learned barge handling and earned his European Inland Waterway license before buying a classic 1912 Dutch barge. He navigated the canals of Holland, went down the Muse River in Belgium and finally took the barge to Paris, where he lived for two years. Always seeking adventure, Mr. Jackson, at the age of 80, took off last year on his own and made a cross-country road trip.
Mr. Jackson is survived by his wife, Emilie Jackson, former president of Wathne Limited; and a daughter, Emilie Blake Jackson, a documentary filmmaker. His survivors include his first wife, Lorraine Petrie Larmour; two sons, Nick Jackson, a musician and artist, and Perry Jackson, a photographer; two daughters, Lynda Thomas and Laura Burger; 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, all from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was predeceased by a son, Daniel.