Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color, the first major retrospective of the trailblazing African-American artist, opens at NMWA this Saturday! One of Washington’s most acclaimed contributors to the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, Loïs Mailou Jones (1905–1998) inspired generations of artists to celebrate their African heritage. This exhibition marks the first time the artist’s estate has released many of its major holdings for public presentation.
A beloved Howard University professor and D.C. resident, Loïs Mailou Jones explored multiple themes and styles during her seventy-year career. As a student in Paris in the late 1930, she painted nudes, city scenes, the French countryside, and traditional still lifes. In 1953 Jones married a noted Haitian graphic artist and began making frequent trips to Port Au Prince. These visits inspired vivid acrylic and watercolor paintings that captured the spirit and vitality of the Caribbean island. In the late 60s and early 70s she traveled to twenty African countries to document the work of contemporary black artists. In turn her paintings became characterized by brilliant color, rich patterns, and African motifs.
Stay tuned for more information about the exhibition and the pioneering artist!