For a complete biography, see the Biography pdf file
Paul Jones says the art collection has had a profound influence on his life, both in his outlook and in the way he lives.
"The art has set the conditions on where I live and how I live. Ive had to juggle the funds that came to me. I was not born rich and my jobs didnt make me rich," Jones said. "Ive made most of my sacrifices with cars, for example. Instead of new cars, Ive always bought used ones and used the funds to buy more art.
"I enjoy living with the art," he added. "I can see it when I wake up; I can commune with it each evening. The sensitivity that has gone into creating the work and the interaction with the artists has made me a much more sensitive, caring, loving person with a strong appreciation for art in all forms.
"Ive been pleased to see a number of works appreciate, and I look forward to even more appreciation that will come as a byproduct of scholars and students studying, writing about and speaking about the collection at the University of Delaware. The result of their scholarship also will be that these artists will take their rightful place in the art world: museums, galleries and auction houses of the world," Jones said.
"Ive seen changes that can be made when a person of color gains acceptance. Now, instead of just having someone speak during Black History Month, museums and galleries have increasing numbers of blacks on boards and on committees for acquisitions. Weve achieved a great deal, but we can achieve a great deal more." Jones said he is interested in seeing his collection used as a means to weave African-American art into the totality of American art so the works can receive their just due. "Look at my Charles White work 'John Henry' versus a Van Gogh," he said. "If my Charles White is worth $1 million and a Van Gogh is worth $80 million, is it really 80 times better?"