John W. Jones (artist)
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John W. Jones is an American artist who first gained acclaim for his series "Confederate Currency: The Color of Money." Self-taught and drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970, he served in Vietnam, eventually becoming an Army illustrator. Examining Confederate banknotes, he became interested in the depiction of the slave economy in the American South before and during the Civil War. Banknotes of the era often depicted slaves as happy workers on the cotton plantations. Jones has said his intent is to demonstrate that banknotes served a propaganda purpose in depicting slavery as a natural state of affairs and one on which the Southern states' economies rested.
Jones decided to recreate these scenes in large, color paintings, using friends as models and posing them as in the original etched images. He exhibits his paintings next to the banknote with the original etching.
More recently, he has created a series of paintings, "Lowcountry Gullah Series." He also painted a series featuring the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a regiment of Black soldiers that fought for the Union Army during the American Civil War.
- Biography of John W. Jones
- Artist John W. Jones, National Public Radio
- Depictions of Slavery in Confederate and Southern States Currency, Original Acrylic on Canvas Paintings by John W. Jones
- Gallery Chuma, John W. Jones Gallery
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