If you are in the Washington DC area (or even within a couple of hours by car or train), I really urge you to stop by the National Museum of Women in the Arts to see the Lois Mailou Jones exhibit. If you are not familiar with her work and life, you will be absolutely blown away. Her mastery of contemporary art genres is breathtaking. And, she struck out and was in the forefront of new movements—she was a groundbreaker, not just a follower of movements. She should be talked about in the same way so many women artists revere Georgia O’Keefe and Frieda Kahlo.
On the social front--She broke amazing ground as a woman and artist of color back when her life was actually unimaginable. By that I mean, she decided to become an artist in the early part of the 20th century when the opportunities were completely and utterly limited. Nonetheless, she found a way to live her dream despite these odds. She persevered and studied in Europe, to return and build an amazing life as an artist and teacher.
To read more about her life, go here:
Run, don’t walk, to see this exhibit and learn about this amazing woman’s life and body of work! Unfortunately, it is rare to see so much of her work in one place. She is truly one of the most underappreciated artists of the 20th century.
If you can’t get to DC, then I suggest you add a book or two about her work to your bookshelf. She is an inspiration to us all.
Link to the Museum site for information about the exhibit. It closes January 9, 2011 so time is short.
Link to site where you can see a few of her works--these collections own her work and after the NMWA exhibit, you can see some of them on display in the DC area:
Link to online bookstore if you want to purchase the catalog: