Marking the Middle: Loïs Mailou Jones’s Mid-Century Portrait Practice

During her lengthy career, African American painter Loïs Mailou Jones (1905–1998) created work in a variety of genres. Portraiture played a pivotal role in her artistic practice, from her days as an art student in 1920s Boston and her time in late 1930s Paris to her forty-five-year tenure at Howard University, and beyond.

In this talk, Professor Rebecca VanDiver will examine the ways in which Jones’s mid-century portrait practice enabled the artist to mark her place in the middle of the increasingly Afro-Diasporic cultural and social scenes of Paris, Washington, D.C., and Port-au-Prince.

Presented by Rebecca VanDiver, Assistant Professor of African American Art at Vanderbilt University.
This presentation is part of the Edgar P. Richardson Lecture Series: Women, Power, and Portraiture hosted by PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center. The Edgar P. Richardson Lecture Series in American Portraiture is generously supported by the Edgar P. Richardson Fund.

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