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 May Asbury Jones  (1901 - 1986)

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Lived/Active: New York/Georgia      Known for: commercial art design, drawing, pastel painting

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Ad Code: 4
May Asbury Jones signature
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
May Asbury Jones (1901-1986) grew up in New Orleans from the age of 3 or 4 until the age of 18 when she went away for a year to Ward Belmont in Nashville, Tennessee for her senior year of high school. During that period of time (1904-1918/19) her grandfather, Darden Asbury, was General Agent (roughly equivalent to today's Vice President) of the Southern Pacific Railroad in New Orleans.
May Jones also spent time with her grandparents at their home, Rose Hill-Lockerly Hall, a magnificent Greek Revival mansion built in 1852 in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Ms. Jones entered Newcomb College of Tulane University in the fall of 1919 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in design, in the spring of 1923. As a student at Newcomb she studied under Ellsworth Woodward (1861-1939), first director of the Newcomb Art School (1887-1931). He had been hired by the original President of Newcomb, Dr. Brandt Van Blarcom Dixon (1850-1941).
Ms. Jones received her class-room training under the guidance of William Woodard (drawing and painting), Joseph Fortune Meyer (pottery), Mary Given Sheerer (pottery design) and Will Henry Stevens (drawing and painting). Also, during her tenure at Newcomb College, Ms. Asbury learned sewing, needle work and embroidery, silver design and casting, and brass and copper sculpturing.
During her tenure as a student at Newcomb College, she designed both her class ring and the Seal of the Newcomb College. The design of the ring and seal had been erroneously attributed to Ellsworth Woodard but the correction was made public by the President of Newcomb College Alumnae Association in remarks made to the graduating class on May 10, 1984.
After Newcomb College, Ms. Asbury moved to New York (1923-1930's) where she studied at the New York Artists League and worked as a commercial art designer. She became a student of Frank Stanley Herring from whom she learned charcoal drawing and improved her technique in pastels.
In 1938, May Asbury returned to Milledgeville and taught at The Georgia State College for Women (GSCW now Georgia College) and Wesleyan College in Macon. One of her final drawing commissions was from the Milledgeville Chamber of Commerce and titled: Milledgeville Series---nine local landmarks hand-drawn on paper.

Written and submitted by Roderick A. Hardy,
Art Appraiser

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