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African Heroes and Heroines printing plate by Lois Mailou Jones

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16828

Content Description

This collection contains a steel printing plate mounted on a block for the dust jacket of Dr. Carter G. Woodson's "African Heroes and Heroines," published by Woodson's publishing imprint Associated Publishers, Inc. in 1939. The cover illustration was created by Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998), who illustrated many projects of Woodson, and the block has her name, "Lois M. Jones," in the plate's lower right corner.


  • Creation: 1939


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Lois Mailou Jones, (1905–1998) was an artist and educator. Her work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Muscarelle Museum of Art, and The Phillips Collection. She is often associated with the Harlem Renaissance. She illustrated many books for author Carter G. Woodson including African Heroes and Heroines.

She studied at the Academi Julian in Paris.Her teaching career began shortly after finishing college. The director of the Boston Museum School refused to hire her, telling her to find a job in the South where "her people" lived." Jones went on to have a successful career that began in the 1930s and she continued to produce art work until her death in 1998 at the age of 92. Her style shifted and evolved multiple times in response to influences in her life, especially her extensive travels. She worked with different mediums, techniques, and influences throughout her long career. Her extensive travels throughout Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean influenced and changed how she painted. She felt that her greatest contribution to the art world was "proof of the talent of black artists". She wished to be known as an American painter with no labels. Her work echoes her pride in her African roots and American ancestry.

Source: "Lois Mailou Jones" Wikipedia. Accessed 4/1/24


.04 Cubic Feet (1 folder (legal))

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Ian Brabner Rare Americana by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on 5 May 2023.

Related Materials

Related to Carter G. Woodson's book, African Heroes and Heroines dust jacket which was illustrated using Lois Mailou Jones printing plate. Call number DT 21 .W6 1944 Copy 2. Title Control a10401606.

African Heroes and Heroines printing plate by Lois Mailou Jones
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States