Lois Mailou Jones: Skilled and Influential Painter During the Harlem Renaissance

Written by Jae Jones

was an artist who painted and influenced others during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond. Jones was born November 3, 1905 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her father was a building superintendent who later became a lawyer after becoming the first person to earn a law degree from Suffolk Law School. Her mother, Carolyn Jones was a cosmetologist. Both parents encouraged her to draw and paint as a child with water colors. Jones attended the High School of Practical Arts in Boston. She also took evening classes and worked as an apprentice in costume design at Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

At the age of 17, Jones held her first solo exhibition. From 1923 to 1927 she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston studying design, taking night courses at the Boston Normal Art School. She also pursued graduate work at the Design Art School and Harvard University. She later received a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University in 1945, graduating magna cum laude. In the early 1930s she exhibited with the William E. Harmon Foundation and other institutions. Jones inspiration came from Celine Marie Tabary, who was also a painter and Jones had worked for many years.


In 1968, Jones documented work and interviews of contemporary Haitian artists for Howard University’s “The Black Visual Arts” research grantones’s numerous oils and watercolors inspired by Haiti are probably her most widely known works. Jones’ work is displayed in museums all over the world. She received numerous awards and recognition for her work. Jones died June 9, 1998 at the age of 92.




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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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