Lois Mailou Jones
For more than fifty years, Lois Mailou Jones enjoyed a consistently successful career as a painter, teacher, book illustrator, and textile designer. Her art spans three continents: North America, Europe, and Africa, and she has been represented in more than seventy group shows and mounted twenty one-woman exhibitions since 1937.
The climate and aftermath of the Harlem Renaissance motivated the depiction of African and African-American themes in Jones’ early paintings. 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’ third period was also formed outside the United States in Haiti where she discovered a second spiritual home. In recognition, the government of Haiti made her a chevalier of the National Order of Honor and Merit.
Jones’ return to African themes, in her work coincided with the black expressionistic movement in the United States during the 1960s. Skillfully integrating aspects of African masks, figures, and textiles into her vibrant paintings, Jones continued to produce exciting new works at an astonishing rate of speed, even in her late eighties.
Download Full Biography