16 Feb 2021

An African American Artist Abroad

Loïs Mailou Jones and Black Paris
Rebecca VanDiver
The École des modernités

Like many others, Harlem Renaissance artists came to Paris in large numbers, drawn by its artistic vitality, and a non-racially prejudiced reception within the artistic community. A traveler with a curious mind, the African-American painter Loïs Mailou Jones thus chose to come to Paris, where she worked in 1937-1938 at the Academie Julian. Based on the work and experiences of the painter during her stay in Paris, this lecture by Rebecca VanDiver, professor of African-American studies at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee), and author of the recently published reference work Designing a New Tradition: Loïs Mailou Jones and the Aesthetics of Blackness, will allow us to recapture an unjustly forgotten body of work.

Rebecca VanDiver

Rebecca VanDiver is Assistant Professor of African American Art at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennesse). She holds an A.B. from Harvard University (2004) and received her M.A. (2009) and Ph.D. (2013) from Duke University. VanDiver’s research focuses on African American artistic production with a particular focus on 20th century African American women artists. Her publications on this subject have appeared in American Art, Callaloo, Archives of American Art Journal, Space and Culture, and Transition, among others. Her book, Designing a New Tradition: Loïs Mailou Jones and the Aesthetics of Blackness (Pennsylvania State University Press) was released in 2020. 

Conférence in English on Zoom, Tuesday 16 of February, 6pm, Paris time.

Register to attend


Rebecca VANDIVER - Loïs Mailou Jones et le « black Paris ». Une artiste afro-américaine à l'étranger

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database