Curators searching for Lois Mailou Jones painting for Alma Thomas retrospective

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

As some of you may know, Seth Feman, Curator of Exhibitions & Curator of Photography at the Chrysler Museum of Art, and I are co-curating a large traveling retrospective on Alma Woodsey Thomas, to open at the Chrysler summer 2021. You can learn more about the project here: https://www.culturetype.com/2018/04/14/locating-alma-thomas-forthcoming-retrospective-will-explore-artists-creative-life-and-hometown-connections/

Alma Thomas: A Creative Life is a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort to examine the many ways that creativity manifested in Thomas’s life, including (but not limited to) self-fashioning, theater, teaching, and gardening. We are excited to have turned up many works by Thomas—and some of her contemporaries and students—that are little known or unpublished. That said, there are always objects that will really change our understanding of the artist—except in some instances we can’t find them (or haven’t found them—yet!). I’m writing about just such a case: we are DESPERATELY seeking the following watercolor, which we believe was, at one time, in or associated with the Barnett-Aden Collection or shown at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in the 1970s.

Loïs Mailou Jones (American, 1905–1998)
Alma’s Backyard Garden,undated
Watercolor, dimensions unknown
Unlocated

An image may be viewed by following this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1jum6ZG5on77pocVr3U8mrnea7DlCeWju

If anyone has any leads, we would be incredibly grateful to know about current ownership and whereabouts. We would also appreciate knowing about any Thomas works in institutional or private collections that we may have missed in the initial casting of our net. Please email either or both of us with information or suggestions:

sfeman@chrysler.org or jwalz@columbusmuseum.com

We thank you in advance for any assistance you may provide. Happy New Year from Western Georgia!

Jonathan Frederick Walz, Ph.D.
Director of Curatorial Affairs
& Curator of American Art
The Columbus Museum
1251 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA  31906
(706) 748.2562 x3200ßnote new extension number
jwalz@columbusmuseum.com

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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