(1901 - 1997)

 

Born in Indian Mill, West Virginia in 1901, Sheilds Landon Jones has been referred to as "one of the last of the first generation of contemporary folk art masters...". Before retirement, S. L. worked as a carpenter-foreman for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. One of his passions was playing the banjo and the fiddle, which he taught himself to play. He began drawing and painting in 1967, after his retirement, and carving shortly thereafter. His work was first "discovered" by Herbert W. Hemphill at a Charleston, W. Va. historical display in 1972. In an interview on the Today show in 1989, he said "I just love to do the work ... I meet lots of people." His work is included in several renowned folk art collections, including the American Folk Art Museum and the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian. In his later years, when he was unable to carve any more, S. L. made pastel and pen drawings of faces, cats, pigs and horses. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 96.

Exhibitions:

- Transmitters: the Isolate Artist in America, Philadelphia Collage of Art, 1981
- A Time To Reap - Late Blooming Folk Artists, 1985
- Outside the Mainstream: Folk Art in Our Time, High Museum of Art, 1988
- O, Appalachia: Artists of the Southern Mountains, 1989
- Made With Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection, National Museum American Art, 1990
- Passionate Visions of the American South, New Orleans Museum of Art, 993
- Common Ground, Uncommon Vision, Milwaukee Art Museum, 1993
- Pictured In My Mind, Birmingham Museum of Art, 1995
- Flying Free, Abby Aldrich Rockerfeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, 1997

References: Contemporary American Folk Art, Chuck and Jan Rosenak (1996); Folk Art Messenger (Spring, 1998); Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, Betty-Carol Sellen (2000)

 

 

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