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Americans of negro lineage

Louise Jefferson

Color pictorial map of the United States. Shows places and people important to African American culture in the United States and Southeastern Canada. Includes title cartouche, landmarks, historical notes, and text. On top panel includes vignettes of prominent people in politics, music and literature.



Louise E. Jefferson was an illustrator, graphic designer, and cartographer, but she is perhaps best known for her work in photography. She was born in Washington, D.C. in 1908 and was the only child of Louise and Paul Jefferson. Her father was a calligrapher for the United States Treasury, and her mother made a living playing piano and singing aboard cruise ships on the Potomac River. From a young age Louise was encouraged to pursue a career in music, but she was determined to become a different kind of artist.

She began her training at Hunter College in New York City where she studied fine art, and then attended Columbia University where she studied graphic arts. During her time in New York City, Louise became involved with the Harlem Artist’s Guild and is credited as a founding member. She was an active member of the artistic community during the Harlem Renaissance becoming close friends with poet Langston Hughes and sharing an apartment with Pauli Murray, who would become an influential labor activist, lawyer, and priest.

Last Updated:
21th of June, 2023

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