Lethonee Jones


  Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States    

Lethonee Jones is featured in the exhibit: Quilting Sisters: African-American Quiltmaking in Michigan.
Lethonee Jones, a faculty member at Western Michigan University, first learned the basic Nine Patch from an American doctor's wife while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa in 1963. Upon her return to the states, her interest in quilts was further bolstered by the recognition of quilters within the family and the receipt of a quilt block from her husband's family. The large collection of cloth scraps that she accumulated in Africa and shipped back to the states served as her initial basic scrap bag for piecing quilts. According to Jones, it is important for her to use materials or symbols in her quilts that are "vital and a part of the African heritage."

Quilting has significance for Jones because "it is something that human hands have done... It is something a person can do. and it is in your control." Jones' quilts have been exhibited in numerous quilt and art exhibitions in the Kalamazoo area and around the state.

Was the maker a woman, man or a group?


When was the quiltmaker born?


Date and place of death.

March 2006

Ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

African American

Educational background:

Ph.D. Union Graduate School; Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, Yellow Springs, Ohio, 1977. M.S.W. University of Illinois, Jane Addams Graduate School of Social Work, Chicago Circle Campus, 1969. A.B. Western College, Oxford, OH, 1960, Intercultural Studies.

Religious affiliation:

Youth Activities Coordinator, Allen Chapel, AME Church, 1986-89.

Occupation (if retired, former occupation):

Professor of Social Work, Western Michigan University

Any other notes or stories about the quiltmaker:

Exhibits her work has been shown in include: Peace Corps Reunion, 25th Year, Atlanta, Somali Prayer for Peace, July 1994. Log Cabin Quilters Exhibition, Kalamazoo, Oct. 1993. Council for Social Work Education, Art Show, Juried Show, Kansas City, MO, 1992. I Love to See the Colors, Battle Creek Art Museum, 1992; Kalamazoo Public Museum, 1991. One Woman Show, Carnegie Museum, Three Rivers, MI, 1991. African American Artists of Michigan, Lee Hall Gallery, Northern Michigan University, Houghton, MI, 1991, Chairman's Award. New Initiatives for the Arts, 1990, Touring Arts Exhibition, Juried Show. Black Arts and Culture Festival, August 1989, Juried Show. Kalamazoo Public Library, Fall 1988. Alma Powell Library, Fall, 1988. Space Gallery, Western Michigan University, March, 1988. Western Michigan University, Michigan Centennial, 1987, Video tape. Quilts, Naturally, Log Cabin Quilters, Kalamazoo Nature Center, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991.

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