Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998) Untitled (Musical Instrument), N.D. casein on scratch board, 23 x 28 inches.
Born in 1905 in Boston, Massachusetts.
As a young artist, Lois Mailou Jones spent a pivotal year in Paris. She
painted "night and day" and met artists and jazz musicians of the 1930s
scene. Upon returning to the States, Jones continued to work and exhibit
her paintings despite the inherent racism and sexism of the day. She met
Alain Lock, the Rhodes scholar and poet, who criticized her paintings,
asking her to take account of her African ancestry. He wrote in 1939,
"We expect from the Negro artist a vigorous and intimate documentation
of Negro life itself." Soon after, Jones changed her imagery to incorporate
African iconography and eventually include a range of cross-cultural imagery:
French, African, Caribbean, American, and African-American.