Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Lois Mailou Jones

  • After marrying Haitian artist Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noel in 1953, Jones traveled and lived in Haiti. 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. 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. Further travels to eleven African countries enabled Jones to synthesize a body of designs and motifs that she combined in large, complex compositions.
  • In 1980, she was honored by President Jimmy Carter at the White House for outstanding achievements in the arts. 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, and the National Museum of Afro-American Artists and many others.
  • As her biographer Tritobia Haves Benjamin told Beth Baker of "Ebony", "She is a reflection of the varied facets that represent American art. Just as American art has unfolded, embracing different styles and different cultures, so too has Jones' career."

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