Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998), an internationally acclaimed artist and teacher, taught at Howard University for nearly 50 years.

Jones was born in Boston and spent childhood summers at Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where she met a circle of intellectuals and artists. In Boston she studied at the Boston High School of Practical Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts School, and the Designers Art School and then began a career as a successful textile designer. Jones also wanted to teach in Boston, but was unable to secure a job in that segregated city. In 1928 she became an art instructor in North Carolina. In 1930 she joined the Howard University Art Department as a design instructor and stayed for nearly 50 years. There she influenced the lives and work of hundreds of students, including conducting student art tours of other countries.

Over her long career, Jones worked in graphic design, textiles, oils, watercolor, and drawing. She was a frequent traveler to Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean, and her art reflected her varied experiences, including impressionistic street scenes in Paris and vibrant expressionistic marketplaces in Haiti. In the 1940s, Jones's home was the venue for the "Little Paris Studio," an artists' collective. Her work is found in the collections of the National Museum of American Art, Howard University Gallery of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Hirshhorn Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), among others.


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