Posted by BuellBoy
Jones found her inspiration in Martha’s Vineyard as a teen. As her interest grew, she decided to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1937, learning textile design.
Though a cultured profession, textile artists of her day were not excluded from racism. Sometimes she was required to clean the studio in order to us it. At one point, Jones saw her textile work hanging in a boutique. After introducing herself as the creator of the design, the owner told her a colored girl could not have possibly made such a beautiful design. After enduring more discrimination, Jones found herself in Paris, where she was accepted. It was there that she worked with Josephine Baker, Albert Smith and Emile Bernard.Wishing to find her place in America, Jones entered “whites only” art contests using the face of her white colleague to make a name for herself. She connected with greats like with Mary McCleod Bethune, Arthur Schomburg, Alan Locke, Zora Neale Hurston and Danny Glover.
She took her expertise to an HBCU – the one place she was allowed to teach – and taught at Howard University for 47 years.
Before she died in 1998, Jones presented her work to President Bill and First Lady Clinton. She now lays to rest in Martha’s Vineyard, where it all began.