Article: Black Art Collection Aims To Educate
Source: Tuscaloosa News
Author: Ashley Boyd
Link: View Article By Clicking Here
When I first pulled this article up online I was very surprised to learn that the University of Alabama was the institution that was displaying this tremendous collection of Black Art and using it as a teaching tool for students at the institution. Not being from Alabama or ever have been a student at the University of Alabama I had a lot of preconceived notions that made this article a shock to the system but also an inspiration at the same time.
Who would have thought that the University of Alabama would have an African American Art Professor by the name of Amalia Amaki, be hosting lectures featuring prominent African American Artists regularly and currently be one of the sites hosting Paul R. Jones’ Art Collection! This just goes to show the respect and reach of Black Art and one can only hope that art created by African American and other Ethnic artists would continue to garner the kind of respect, prestige and recognition that it has deserved for decades yet has been so elusive and hard to achieve.
Below you will find some photos and bios of Paul R. Jones and Amalia Amaki.
Paul R. Jones Bio
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
On June 1, 1928, Will and Ella Jones were blessed with a baby boy, Paul Raymond Jones. Jones grew up with his four sisters and caring parents in the town of Bessemer, Alabama. To the Jones family, education was the key to success, so it was decided that Paul R Jones would attend school somewhere in the North to pursue the best education possible at that time. After a trip to the World’s Fair in New York City, Ella Jones knew her son would attend school in New York.
By high school, Paul R Jones moved back home with his family. Jones used his athletic skills, self-discipline, and competitive nature to compete in track and football. Along with athleticism, Paul R Jones was an intelligent young man in high school. His intellect and athleticism landed him two separate scholarships for college.
Following high school, Paul R Jones enrolled in Alabama State University aspiring to earn a law degree. Unfortunately, because of the racial discrimination there, Jones was not encouraged to pursue a degree in law. Instead, he continued his education at Howard University, and afterwards he decided to return home again.
The first job Paul R Jones encountered at home was the position of Executive at the Interracial Committee of the Jefferson County Coordinating Council for Social Forces, allowing him to realize his political aspirations. After his first job, Jones worked in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. Later, he served as a deputy director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Thailand.
During the early 1960’s, Paul R Jones decided to purchase his first three paintings that formed the beginning of his collection. They were by artists, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, and Chagall. After collecting for a couple of years, Jones realized that African-American art was “abundant and affordable” yet hardly ever represented in the collections of museums. As the years passed, his collection of African-American art and his reputation grew. Jones’ collection has been featured at several different museums over the course of his lifetime.
Amalia Amaki Bio
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Dr. Amalia K. Amaki is currently a curator of the Paul R Jones Collection, a professor of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware, and an artist herself. She divides her time between Atlanta, Georgia and Newark, Delaware.
Born Linda Faye Peeks, Amalia Amaki changed her name due to her passion for writing and art at an early age. She majored in psychology and journalism at Georgia State Universityand received her B.A. in photography and art history at the University of Mexico. Dr. Amaki studied as an Emory University Foreign Study Fellowand achieved her M.A. degree in modern European and American art and a Ph.D. in Twentieth-century American art and culture from Emory University in the Institute of Liberal Arts. She is also a member of the College of Art Association,American Association of University Professors, Emory University Alumni Board of Governors,Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts,High Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts.