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 Frederick D Jones, Jr.  (1914 - 2004)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/South Carolina      Known for: Figure, women, jazz musician, portrait, genre painting

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Hand-pulled woodcut, 1947, 12" x 7"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Frederick D. Jones, Jr. (1914 - 2004)

He was born in 1914 in Georgetown, South Carolina.  Jones’ early art education took place in Atlanta, Georgia, where he studied at Morehouse College, Spellman College and Clark Atlanta University (Williams, 1988: Treadway Toomey Galleries, 2001). 

An important Black, African-American Artist/painter, he lived and worked in Chicago.  Fred Jones did numerous paintings and drawings of jazz figures, including Louie Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and Pee Wee Russell.  In addition, he continued painting the female form throughout his career.  Today, his female forms of artwork i.e., Woman with a Flower in Hand, and Madonna are much sought after.

He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with George Neal, the first black teacher at the Institute, and Eldzier Cortor, a Chicago artist who spent time painting in Haiti.  In the 1940s he was an active member of the South Side Community Arts Center working side by side with Cortor and befriending Gordon Parks (Williams, 1988; Treadway Toomey Galleries, 2001).  Jones was an uncommonly popular artist in his day, and exhibited throughout the South, winning prestigious awards at various collegiate exhibitions, specifically winning the Purchase Award in 1943 at Atlanta University.  Jones was both a serious artist and scholar.  He was deeply influenced by the work of the New Negro movement, and sought to incorporate an “African” aesthetic into his work.  Like his mentor, Cortor, who studied in Haiti in an effort to reconnect with his lost African roots, Jones worked to bring together elements of modernism with what he saw as traditional and African elements.  Color and form were his main tools for this effort (Williams, 1988).

Information compiled and submitted by David Milton Lewis.

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