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  • Lois Mailou Jones

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Lois Mailou Jones American Artist: b. 1905-1998. Lois Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998) 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. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is buried on Martha's Vineyard in the Oak Bluffs Cemetery. In 1928 she was hired by Charlotte Hawkins Brown after some initial reservations, and founded the art department at Palmer Memorial Institute in [North Carolina]]. As a prep school teacher, she coached a basketball team, taught folk dancing, and played the piano for church services. Only one year later, she was recruited to join the art department at Howard University in Washington D.C., and remained as professor of design and watercolor painting until her retirement in 1977. While developing her own work as an artist, she was also known as an outstanding mentor. In 1938 she produced Les Fétiches (1938) a stunning, African inspired oil which is owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Jones' Les Fétiches was instrumental in transitioning 'Négritude'—a distinctly francophone artistic phenomenon—from the predominately literary realm into the visual. Jones' work provided an important visual link to Négritude authors including Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, and Léopold Sédar Senghor. It was one of her best known works, and her first piece which combined traditional African forms with Western techniques and materials to create a vibrant and compelling work. She also completed Parisian Beggar Woman with text supplied by Langston Hughes. Jones's numerous oils and watercolors inspired by Haiti are probably her most widely known works. In them her affinity for bright colors, her personal understanding of Cubism's basic principles, and her search for a distinctly style reached an apogee. In many of her pieces one can see the influence of the Haitian culture, with its African influences, which reinvigorated the way she looked at the world. These include Ode to Kinshasa and Ubi Girl from Tai. Her work became more abstract and hard-edged, after her marriage to Pierre-Noel. Her impressionist techniques gave way to a spirited, richly patterned, and brilliantly colored style. 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. Listings wanted by Art Brokerage.

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