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Joe Jones

(1909—1963)


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(1909–63).

Painter and printmaker. His uncompromising depictions of subjects from America's heartland contributed to both regionalist and social realist currents of the American Scene movement. Born in St. Louis, Joseph John Jones remained essentially self-taught as an artist. His left-wing social views inform the lithograph A Poor Heritage (c. 1940), juxtaposing a small child and a garbage can within a derelict environment. American Farm (Whitney Museum, 1936) presents farm buildings perched in a ravaged, eroded landscape. A poignant tribute to the American farmer's persistence, it also suggests the precariousness of that way of life. Many of Jones's scenes are less politically loaded, describing agricultural activities such as harvesting and threshing with simple directness. He also painted cityscapes, usually emphasizing architecture, as in View of St. Louis (St. Louis Art Museum, c. 1939). After moving to New York in 1935, Jones participated in the American Artists' Congress and painted federal art project murals. From the late 1940s he focused on benign shore and harbor views, mostly of Bermuda and New Jersey. He died in Morristown, in the New Jersey area where he had resided for more than twenty years.

Subjects: Art.


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