Lauren Rogers Museum of Art presents Lois Mailou Jones: Life in bright colors on display at a lower level and Stairwell Gallery 24 8 to 6 November
In a career spanning over 70 years, Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998) overcame the racial and gender prejudice to become a successful painter and designer, whose influence as a teacher beyond his native country. This exhibition covers the career of Harlem Renaissance artist ended his current synthesis of African, Caribbean, America and the iconography of African-Americans.
Jones was raised in Boston, studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and then spent several years designing textiles in New York. He left in 1928 to take a position teaching at Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina. A Palmer, prep school students and African-American, Jones founded the art department, coached basketball, taught folk dances, and played the piano Sunday services. Two years later he moved to Washington, DC, to create a career in painting and teaches at Howard University, where he trained several generations of African-American artists. He teaches at Howard for nearly 50 years, the mentor and the impact on several generations of artists.
Jones was hit hard by a sabbatical in Paris from 1937 to 1938. After all this time into a separate company, he was elated to live in a country where race seemed relevant.
Equally important was her introduction to African tribal art, which was enormously popular in Parisian galleries. At home, Jones began incorporating African motifs into her canvases. After her 1953 marriage to Haitian graphic designer Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noël, Jones became intrigued by the bright colors and bold patterns of the architecture, design, and fine art she saw on annual trips to Haiti with her husband.
In the 1970s, Jones traveled extensively in Africa. She lectured, interviewed local artists, and visited museums in 11 countries. This experience led to further exploration of African subjects in Jones’s work, especially in her paintings executed between 1971 and 1989.
This exhibition is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, Regions, Foil Wyatt Architects & Planners, Sanderson Farms, and The Jean Chisholm Lindsey Exhibition Endowment Fund and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color is organized by the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, in collaboration with the Loïs Mailou Jones Pierre-Noël Trust, and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.