Brookland History Lives! Lois Mailou Jones House

Brookland Historic homes NE Washington DCBrookland NE Washington DCLois Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998) was a world renowned artist who made Brookland her home. She lived at 1220 Quincy St. NE, and for a time in the 1940s, she even used the home as a venue for an artists collective called the “Little Paris Studio”. Although she is most often associated with her contribution to the Harlem Renaissance, she had a long remarkable career, producing art well into her nineties. Jones worked in mask making, graphic design, textiles, oils, watercolor, and drawing and taught at Howard University for nearly 50 years. In 1937, she traveled to Paris for a year, on sabbatical from Howard. That year proved to be both prolific and formative for her. She produced one of her best known works, “Les Fetiches” , her first to combine African and Western influences. (The piece is now owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.)  Paris also put wind her sails by making her feel liberated from the racial discrimination she often faced in the American arts scene. Later in her career, and after marrying Haitian artist Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noel, her work was influenced by Haitian culture and style. Jones was honored with many awards during her career, including honorary degrees and an award for outstanding achievements in the arts from President Jimmy Carter. For a great rundown of the highlights of Jones’ life check out her official webpage. Her paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Portrait GalleryBoston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Palace in Haiti, and the National Museum of Afro-American Artists and many others. Bill and Hillary Clinton added one of her paintings to their collection when living in the White House. However, according to Wikipedia, she “…felt that her greatest contribution to the art world was “proof of the talent of black artists.” The African-American artist is important in the history of art and I have demonstrated it by working and painting here and all over the world.” But her fondest wish was to be known as an “artist” — without labels like black artist, or woman artist.” 

Textile Design. Photo Courtesy of Chapman Pharmaceutical Consulting.
Brookland Historic Homes NE Washington DC
La Route à Spéracédès, Photo Courtesy of Chapman Pharmaceutical Consulting.