Throughout her life Loïs Mailou Jones admired African art and culture. But it was through the mask—its spiritual significance, theatrical expression, cultural importance, and emotive possibilities—that she found herself as an artist, designer, and educator. With a career buttressed by the two major movements in African American art of the twentieth century—the New Negro Arts movement and the Black Arts movement—Jones’s unique black perspective was often viewed through the mask, a symbol of classical African art and a signifier of black identity. For her, it acted as muse for a productive career that spanned more than fifty years.

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