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 Jacobine (Phyllis) Jones  (1897 - 1976)

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Lived/Active: Ontario/New York / Canada/England      Known for: animal sculpture, bas relief, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
Jacobine (Phyllis) Jones
An example of work by Jacobine (Phyllis) Jones
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Riverside Fine Art:
Jacobine Jones was born in 1897 in England to a Danish mother and English father. She was encouraged from the start to develop her talent and interests in art. In her twenties she traveled throughout Europe, studied, and sculpted. In 1925 after her mother's death, she settled down to sculpt and attended the Regent Street Polytechnic studying under Harold Brownsword.

During this time her Saint Joan and Black Cavalry sculptures were accepted for exhibition at the National Academy. In 1931 she won the Robert Mitchell Medal for Art.  She worked in both modeling and direct carving, creating many works in stone.

In 1932 she travelled to Canada and then made the move permanent. Within two years in Canada she had shown work at the Royal Canadian Academy, The Ontario Society of Artists, The Sculptors Society of Canada, the Art Gallery of Toronto and the Canadian National Exhibition. Through the 1940's & 50's she continued to sculpt and moved into architectural and public commissions. Her prestige and importance grew, she was admired for her "surprising ingenuity and instinctive sense of design (that) marries modern and classical echoes". Many important buildings throughout Canada have original bas-reliefs from this productive period. 

She taught for a time at the Ontario College of Art. In 1950 Jones was asked to submit a representative 'Diploma Piece' to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa; she choose Circus Pony in bronze. She was elected a Charter Academician of the Royal Canadian Academy.

The 60's were a period of transition for her and she struggled financially. In 1965, at age 68, she moved to Niagara on the Lake and worked primarily on private commissions and carvings. In 1969 she had a solo retrospective exhibition at Rodman Hall featuring 29 pieces, a combination of old and new works. In 1970 she was honoured with her election to the Society of Animal Artists in New York. She was inspired by Anna Hyatt Huntington both as a student and at this time in her life. In 1975 she travelled back to Europe and in 1976 died peacefully at 79.
Information from her biography Put On Her Mettle - The Life and Art of Jacobine Jones by Natalie Luckyj   1999 Penumbra Press


Biography from Riverside Fine Art:
The following information is from the Canadian Woman Artists History Initiative Artists Database.

JONES, Jacobine

London, England, 1897
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 1976

Biography synopsis
The sculptor Phyllis Jacobine Jones was born in England [her birth date is often documented incorrectly as 1898] and studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London with Harold Brownsword. She also studied in Italy, Denmark and France and exhibited at the Paris Salon, at the Royal Academy and at the Royal Scottish Academy. She came to Canada in 1932, settling in York Mills. In 1933 she was given space at the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, where she made sculptures of animals. She exhibited in "A Century of Canadian Art" at the Tate gallery (1938) and at the New York World's Fair (1939). She taught at the Northern Vocational School, Toronto and at the Ontario College of Art where she was Director of Sculpture (1951-1956). She had a solo show at Rodman Hall in St. Catherines in 1969. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy (Associate, 1943; Academician, 1954). She completed a number of large-scale commissions for public buildings and her work is owned by the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and the University of Guelph.

Media used

Regent Street Polytechnic, London, England (under Harold Brownsword)

Sculptors' Society of Canada, 1939
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Associate, 1943; Academician, 1954
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
London Public Library, ON
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Queen's University Archives, ON
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
University of Guelph, ON - Archival & Special Collections

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