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Paul R. Jones exhibit at Montana State

Firebirds, 1979, 28 " x 24" lithograph by Romare Beardon (1911-88), The Paul R. Jones Collection, University of Delaware
9:43 a.m., Feb. 28, 2006--“The Paul R. Jones Collection: A Century of African American Art,” a 56-piece exhibition that originated at the home of the collection at the University of Delaware and recently completed a run at Spelman College in Atlanta, will open Saturday, March 4, and continue on display through Sunday, May 14, at the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman.

UD benefactor Paul R. Jones, whose collection is one of the oldest, largest and most complete collections of works by 20th-Century African American artists, will participate in the show by presenting a lecture on Tuesday evening, March 7, at the Museum of the Rockies. Jones made a gift of his collection to UD in February 2001, and it now housed in the renovated Mechanical Hall.

Even as Montana State opens its exhibition, UD is hosting a show titled “Printed Proof: Selections from the Brandywine Workshop in the Paul R. Jones Collection” through June 30 at Mechanical Hall.

The events surrounding the Paul R. Jones exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies represent the first large-scale, coordinated effort to integrate the museum's resources with campus curriculum, according to Sara Jayne Steen, dean of Montana State's College of Letters and Science. The events are the result of a partnership that includes the University of Delaware, the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State's College of Arts and Architecture and College of Letters and Science, and the Bozeman Public Schools.

"The exhibit provides both students and the Bozeman community with access to an exceptionally high-quality collection of art as well as the opportunity to share diverse cultural experiences," Steen said. "The collaboration helps the university enrich educational opportunities by increasing the interdisciplinary nature of various curricula, providing hands-on experiences and broadening students' exposure to national cultural history."

Steen was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to Montana. She became friends with Jones and Amalia Amaki, curator of the exhibit, during a year she spent as an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Delaware. This will be the first time the exhibit has traveled to the Rocky Mountain West.

Several College of Letters and Science, College of Arts and Architecture and University Studies classes will incorporate the exhibit into courses. Teachers in local schools are also planning to use the exhibit in their classrooms.

Other activities and events linked to the exhibit include a public gallery talk by Amaki to be scheduled late in March. Spencer Crew, director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, will conduct a symposium for local K-12 teachers.

The Museum of the Rockies will exhibit 56 pieces drawn from the Paul R. Jones Collection, which consists of more than 1,500 paintings, drawings, photographs and three-dimensional works by noted artists such as Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Elizabeth Catlett and Jacob Lawrence.

Jones, a native of Alabama, attended Alabama State University and Howard University, but was denied admission to the University of Alabama Law School under the restrictive Jim Crow laws. After college, he rose to important positions in the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service, helping ease tensions during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. He earned a national reputation for his work in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Model Cities Program and served as a deputy director of the Peace Corps in Thailand.

For more information about the Jones Collection exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies, go to the museum's web page at [www.museumoftherockies.org].

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