Local keeps the faith through Jackson Bailey Museum
By Ann Cantrell
Jackson Bailey painted and sculpted with one main mission: to further illustrate and spread the story of the Bible.
Despite the passing of her husband, Jackson Bailey, and the recent loss of her grandson, Joshua Williams, Beverly Bailey has continued on this tradition with the upkeep of the Jackson Bailey Art Museum.
Through different mediums, the Bailey’s art focuses primarily on the life of Christ. Throughout the various losses of people she loves, Beverly Bailey says she has kept her faith in the Bible and her God.
“I’m very grateful to the good Lord…People need to know how good he is,” said Bailey.
The Bailey family first received attention for their artwork around 1972, after the completion of the first “Life of Christ” painting. The painting, which is now being restored at the Avery Gallery in Marietta, stands 11 feet tall and is 1000 feet long.
The painting covers the entire Biblical story of Christ’s life from when an angel approaches Mary about the birth of her son, to the resurrection and ascension of Christ. The Baileys spent 10 years researching the subject before painting. In fact, Jackson Bailey traveled to the supposed burial tomb in Jerusalem to determine the height of Christ.
When the painting was originally opened to the public, Jackson Bailey challenged pastors who viewed it to point out any historical or biblical inaccuracies. Beverly Bailey said that no one challenged the accuracy of the painting.
For Beverly Bailey, this painting is more than a lot of time and research. It is an attempt to change the lives of those who view the painting. She said that she painted the nails in Christ’s hands in order to express the pain he endured.
“I want them to feel it; to feel his pain,” said Bailey.
Recently, Bailey endured some personal pain of her own with the death of her grandson Joshua Williams. She described her 20 year old grandson as handsome, responsible young man who was always smiling.
Williams died just weeks ago in a motorcycle accident, leaving behind a daughter, Hannah Marie Williams. An account was set up in the name of his daughter at Regions Bank for any contributions for the family.
Beverly Bailey also witnessed the passing of her husband, Jackson, four years ago. He suffered from childhood polio that returned decades later. His condition worsened until he could only lie down, but Beverly said he held on until daughter delivered her child.
Jackson passed in his bed at home shortly after discovering that his daughter delivered a baby girl.
Throughout her life, Beverly Bailey has continued to have faith in the goodness of her Lord and his blessings and maintains the Jackson Bailey Art Museum as a testimony to God and her husband.
The museum holds several paintings by Jackson Bailey and also a re-creation of the life of Christ in doll form. The second of Christ painting, which is significantly smaller than the first painting, is also housed at the museum.