50 Things You Didn’t Know About Jackson Pollock

11. Before becoming a painter, Pollock was primarily interested in sculpture.

12. Betty Parsons, a former dealer of Pollock’s, said Pollock was born with “too big an engine inside.”

13. Through a friend, Pollock was introduced to the spiritual beliefs of the Theosophical Society and the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Pollock attended several camp meetings in Ojai, California.

14. For a time, Pollock underwent psychiatric treatment for his alcoholism, including sessions with Jungian psychoanalysts Joseph L. Henderson and later Dr. Violet Staub de Laszlo. Both used Pollock’s drawings as a therapeutic device.

15. One of Pollock’s favorite authors was Herman Melville. Pollock named his dog “Captain Ahab,” after one of Melville’s most famous characters.

16. Pollock once wrote in a letter to his father, “I’ll never be satisfied until I’m able to mould a mountain of stone with the aid of a jack hammer to fit my will.”

17. According to his wife, Lee Krasner, Pollock began titling his later works with numbers because “numbers are neutral. They force people to look at the picture for what it is — pure painting.”

18. In 1930, Pollock decided to drop his birth name, “Paul.”

19. During the summer of 1950, photographer Hans Namuth took hundreds of pictures and shot some film footage of Pollock at work. After the session, Pollock had his first drink in two years, and began drinking heavily again until his death.

20. In 1941, Pollock was declared unfit for military service.