Friday, November 2, 2012


Lois Maillou Jones "Self Portrait"  1940  Smithsonian American Art Museum
Loïs Mailou Jones (1905-1998) was born in Boston and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts,  Boston. She taught for most of her adult life at Howard University. In 1937 on her first sabbatical from Howard, she traveled to France and immersed herself in the rich artistic life there, making friends with prominent artists and creating some of her best-known pieces. Of this productive and exciting time she has said, "The French were so inspiring. The people would stand and watch me and say ‘mademoiselle, you are so very talented. You are so wonderful.’ In other words, the color of my skin didn’t matter in Paris and that was one of the main reasons why I think I was encouraged and began to really think I was talented."

Jones has received many honors including the Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts. She traveled widely around the world. She is buried on the Island of Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts) which was a favorite summer destination for her and her family and the location of her first one person exhibition in 1923.

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