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S. L. JONES

Drawings

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S. L. (Shields Landon) Jones was born in Franklin County, West Virginia in 1901, one of thirteen children of sharecropper parents who went on to acquire their own farm. As a boy he would fill idle hours hunting, carving and making music. He dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, a lofty ambition for an individual of limited means, and he turned to carving animals in order to express his love of the natural world. Using his pocket-knife, he would carve rabbits, chickens, dogs, horses and pigs in wood while out hunting, waiting for deer to pass, treeing opossum or trapping rabbits.

He was an accomplished self-taught banjo and fiddle player, winning his first fiddle contest as a pre-teen.

Jones began to take his small wood-carvings of various animals to West Virginia county fairs and social gatherings when he was in his early seventies,. in 1972 Herbert Waide Hemphill, the legendary art collector and a founder of the Museum of Folk Art in New York City, discovered the artist at one of those gatherings. More concerned with expression than with form, Jones's work was not easily mistaken as traditional, each piece having its own distinct personality and flavour. Jones went on to enjoy a long and fruitful career in the visual arts, creating work well into his nineties; his carved pieces were internationally exhibited and entered the permanent collections of the American Folk Art Museum, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

IBID: Raw Vision #62 Spring 2008

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This artwork has been sold to a collector in West Virginia where Mr Jones was born.

We hope to have more of Mr. Jones work in the future.

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