Lois Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998)was an artist who painted and influenced others during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, during her long teaching and artistic career. Jones was the only African-American female painter of the 1930s and 1940s to achieve fame abroad, and the earliest whose subjects extend beyond the realm of portraiture. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is buried on Martha’s Vineyard in the Oak Bluffs Cemetery.Her father Thomas Vreeland Jones was a building superintendent who later became a lawyer; her mother Carolyn Jones was a cosmetologist.
Jones parents encourage her to draw and paint as a child in water color. During childhood her mother took her and her brother to Martha’s Vineyard where she became lifelong friends with novelist Dorothy West. She attended the High School of Practical Arts in Boston. Meanwhile she took Boston Museum of Fine Arts evening classes and worked as an apprentice in costume design. She held her first solo exhibition at the age of 17. From 1923 to 1927 she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston studying design, taking night courses at the Boston Normal Art School. She also pursued graduate work at the Design Art School and Harvard University. She continued her education even after beginning work, attending classes at Columbia University and receiving her bachelor’s degree from Howard University in 1945, graduating magna cum laude.