Leon Foster Jones Information and Inventory

Leon Foster Jones

(1871 - 1940)

Leon Foster Jones 


Seeing a painting from a highly acclaimed private collection on exhibition and saying to yourself, “I really want to own that picture,” is usually the height of wishful thinking. In this case it was a large, square, summer landscape with a very distinctive diagonal composition by an artist totally unfamiliar to me, owned by Haig Tashjian on exhibit at the Grand Central Gallery around 1978. The picture simply had an inexplicable yet an unforgettable quality about it, and I never forgot the piece or the artist’s name, Leon Foster Jones. In the ensuing twenty-four years until 2002 when I acquired this piece at a Shannon auction, I saw only one other equally unforgettable painting by the artist, a snowscape in a Vose Gallery catalogue. I would occasionally inquire among the dealers I knew whether they had any work or even knew much about the artist, and I always came up empty. Eventually, while preparing this book I had to get serious and dig up some facts, yet I believe that as a collector, you eventually get to a level of confi- dence when you know an artist is really good and don’t need a lot of supporting evidence. That’s how I felt about the artist and the picture. Nevertheless, his credentials are impressive, with good teachers at the Cowles Art School in Boston in 1893, work in the M.F.A., a one-man show at the Copley Gallery in 1910, an exhibition at the P.A.F.A., etc. However, it seems he left the frenetic scene of Boston around 1912, and settled into a quiet life of teaching and painting in Port Jefferson, Long Island, remaining there until his death. A friend of the artist yielded a small hint into his temperament when he was quoted as saying he never owned a car and that, “If Jonesie couldn’t walk to it, he didn’t paint it.” 

Leon Foster Jones Gallery

No paintings by this author