UA’s Black Faculty Association Hosts ‘Evening Conversation’ with Paul R. Jones Feb. 26

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s Black Faculty and Staff Association will host an “Evening Conversation with Paul R. Jones,” from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in Gorgas Library, room 205, on the UA campus as part of its BFSA Presents lecture series.

Jones, considered one of the top 100 art collectors in the country, donated his 1,700-piece collection to The University of Alabama in October 2008. The collection, the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art, is valued at more than $4.8 million and has become a teaching and research tool for faculty and students at the University as well as being exhibited at various locations on the UA campus.

The University also will make the collection available to historically black colleges and universities, other institutions of higher education, and museums throughout Alabama.

Unlike the typical collector of world-class art, Jones is not independently wealthy, nor does he come from a wealthy family—he was born and raised in a mining camp in Bessemer. But it was his deep passion for American Art, with a particular emphasis to African-American artists, which drove him to begin collecting art in the early 1960s.

Since then he has amassed a collection of more than 2,000 pieces, the majority of which he donated to UA. His collection includes art in a variety of media from more than 600 artists, including works by such well-known masters as Romare Bearden, Prentice Herman (P.H.) Polk, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Carrie Mae Weems, Sam Gilliam and Benny Andrews.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for the campus community and the local community to interact with Mr. Jones and learn more about him and his passion for collecting art,” said Brenda Elliott, BFSA executive board member. “We hope that students from the University and local elementary and high schools, along with other members of the Tuscaloosa community, will be inspired by Mr. Jones and gain a better appreciation of art.”

The informal evening conversation with Jones is free and open to the public.

BFSA Presents, which began in the fall of 2008, is a monthly lecture series hosted by the Black Faculty and Staff Association designed to promote and provide opportunities for networking among individuals and groups with the purpose of advancing educational dialog and opportunities.

The Black Faculty and Staff Association was founded in 1970 to serve as an advocate for educational equity for students, faculty and staff at The University of Alabama, with emphasis on African-American students. For more information about the Black Faculty and Staff Association, visit

For more information on the Jones event, contact Brenda Elliott, 205/348-3837. For more information on the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art, visit


Sarah Colwell, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,