own a S.L. Jones sketch is to have one of the "crown jewels" in
American Outsider/Folk Art History.
Referred to "one of the last of the first generation of contemporary
art masters" Sheilds Landon Jones was born in Indian Mill, West Virginia
in 1901. He worked as a carpenter and foreman for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.
He was also an expert mountain fiddler and a wood carver. He also taught himself
to play banjo.
Jones began drawing and carving in 1967 after his retirement and the death of
his first wife. His work was "discovered" by Herbert W Hemphill at
a Charleston, W. Va historical display in 1972.
Jones is an image artist. His favourite subjects were pigs, piglets, horses,
and people. His people are always smiling. "The heads look like how I feel".
These are drawings of faces, frozen in time. His stiff full figures are memorable
and are in several renowned folk art collections, including the American Folk
Art Museum, the Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Centre, and the National Museum
of American Art at The Smithsonian. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 96.
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