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 Donabeth Jones  (1921 - 2011)

About: Donabeth Jones
 

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Lived/Active: Louisiana/Minnesota      Known for: watercolor and drawings-city genre, buildings

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Ad Code: 4
Donabeth Jones
Riding the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following was written by Dawn Corrigan, January 23, 2007, who wrote about her visit to New Orleans in 1991 and meeting the Donabeth Jones:

She billed herself as The Hungry Artist of Bourbon Street.  However, I was even more intrigued with her as a person than as an artist. She was, as Chandler Bing would say, “old and small,” but she was a great spirit.

When she got wind of the fact Bob needed to pee—which was making him rather impatient with my lingering around the alley—she promptly invited us back to her house, which, unbelievably, was located at the end of that alley.

We followed her down the alley, through some sort of gateway, and suddenly we were in a courtyard, with a blooming banana tree and a beautiful old house.

It was quiet, except for a recording of classical music coming from inside the house. The raucous party noises of the street were gone as surely as if they had been the recording, which had been abruptly shut off.

We all hung back, astonished, but Donabeth hustled us into the house, where not only Bob but also I took advantage of her hospitality. Then she introduced us to her husband.

He had suffered a stroke not too long before, so his speech and movements were somewhat impaired, but he was as gracious a host as his wife. It was he who was enjoying the classical music, which they told us was one of his regular rituals.

She told us a little more about their story. They lived much of their lives in Minnesota, but after retirement they left and bought this magical house hidden behind Bourbon Street.

As she spoke, Bob caught my eye and gestured toward a frame on a nearby shelf. It was one of Donabeth’s sketches, with a note to her husband, dated that Valentine’s Day. A love note.
We stayed a while longer, taking several pictures and following Donabeth as she provided a tour of the house.

Even after we left, though, the memory of meeting Donabeth lingered. She and her husband and their magic house and their banana tree and their life of music and art and enduring love …made it seem like all the good things we imagine, might actually happen someday.
 
I’ve wondered how The Hungry Artist of Bourbon Street weathered Katrina—in fact, whether she and her charming husband were still alive when the hurricane hit, and if so, how they fared.

Source:
http://archives.thenervousbreakdown.com/dcorrigan/2007/01/visiting-with-the-hungry-artist-of-bourbon-street-and-other-saturday-night-activities/

----------------

Following is the obituary of the artist, published Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 6, 2011

Jones, Donabeth Johnson age 90, Minneapolis, died November 2, 2011. Preceded in death by husband, Lowell F., and parents, Herman and Ann Johnson. Survived by brother, Wallace, of Plymouth; sons, Kent (Mary Arnold) of Santa Fe, NM, Bruce (Dee Marks) of Mpls. and Lowell D. (Linda) of Northern California; granddaughters, Autumn Oh, Ingrid Hallar, Annika Jones and two great-grandchildren.

Born February 8, 1921, graduate of Mpls. West High, 1939, University of Minnesota, 1943. Showed her art in Uptown Art Fair at its inception and for 29 years operated Hungry Artist Studio in New Orleans. Her paintings are in collections worldwide.

Donabeth was an imaginative, generous person who always spoke well of others. Memorials may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or Jones- Harrison Residence, both in Mpls. Memorial service 2 PM Dec. 10 at Westminster Church, 12th and Marquette, Mpls. .

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