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Portraits of Paul R. Jones

February 08 through April 13, 2014

Ife Walker, Paul Jones with artworks

Paul R. Jones (1928–2010) met many contemporary artists during his quest to collect African-American art, and many of those artists made him the subject of their paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photogaphs. This exhibition featured portraits of the collector by Sheila Pree Bright, Al Bailey, Louis Delsarte, Clarissa Thompson Sligh, and others. Some portraits show him at home, surrounded by his art collection, while others picture him in galleries and museums actively engaged with artists. Still others isolate his face and head to focus on his handsome features and friendly personality.

This was part of an exhibition series selected from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama. Jones (1928–2010), described by Art & Antiques magazine as “one of the top collectors in the country,” amassed one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of 20th-century African-American art and donated much of it to The University of Alabama.


Ife Walker, Paul Jones with artworks, 1999, color photograph, Image Courtesy The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama