Lois Mailou Jones

Lois Mailou Jones

She was an artist who painted and influenced others during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, during her long teaching and artistic career. Jones was the only African-American female painter of the 1930s and 1940s to achieve fame abroad, and the earliest whose subjects extend beyond the realm of portraiture.

Jones felt that her greatest contribution to the art world was “proof of the talent of black artists.” The African-American artist is important in the history of art and I have demonstrated it by working and painting here and all over the world.” But her fondest wish was to be known as an “artist”—without labels like black artist, or woman artist. She has produced work that echoes her pride in her African roots and American ancestry.

Lois Mailou Jones’ work is in museums all over the world and valued by collectors. Her paintings grace the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Portrait Gallery, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Palace in Haiti, the National Museum of Afro-American Artists and many others.

After her death, her friend and adviser, Dr. Chris Chapman completed a book about her life and the African-American pioneers she had worked with.

Categories: Woman of the Day

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