Permission to Create: The Legacy of Mary Sherwood Wright Jones,
February 5 - April 2, 2022
55 South 1st Street
This exhibition looks at how a single artist’s dedication to her craft can reverberate for generations.
Mary Sherwood Wright Jones
At a time when women in the arts were even more under represented than they are today, Mary Sherwood Wright Jones (1892 - 1985), a Newark native, took herself and her work seriously as she carved out a professional space. This show features her first mature art works, as well as the work of two of her grandchildren, Anne Sherwood Pundyk and Michael Kennedy, and one of her great-grand children, Phoebe Pundyk.
Jones' paintings, drawings and sketches on view were created by a young, mid-western woman early in the last century during and after her studies in New York City within the sphere of American Realist masters such as Robert Henri and George Bellows. These direct, somber works rely on Jones’ sensitive, natural touch. She uses light and shadow to capture the life and nuanced emotion of her subjects.
Jones went on to work for over three decades as an illustrator, most notably for My Weekly Reader distributed to millions of young students. Her work has been accepted into the permanent collection of Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Her quiet determination, first to follow her passion for drawing by attending art school, and later, to make art her full-time work is at the heart of this exhibition. It is by her example that she has opened the world of creative expression to those who followed.