Louis C. Jones


guided the development of one of the most important folk art collections in the United States, at the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown, NewYork. A graduate of Hamilton College, with a Ph.D. in English literature from Columbia University, Jones had a distinguished career at Albany State Teacher’s College,where he taught English and American folklore. He came to the Historical Association as director in 1948, when the institution was entering a period of rapid growthfollowing World War II. Working with benefactor Stephen Carlton Clark, Jones oversaw the addition of thirteen pieces from the Nadelman collection in 1948; morethan 250 works from the Jean and Howard Lipman collection in 1950; and 175 paintings from the Mr. and Mrs. William J.Gunn collection in 1958. He created andfostered a variety of innovative educational programs that greatly advanced the fledgling
folk art field, including seminars on American culture as well as the Cooperstown Graduate Programs in History, Museum Studies, and American Folklore.Jones was fascinated with folklore and ghostlore. His interest in the latter led him to publish
Spooks of the Valley
(1948) and
Things That Go Bump in the Night
(1959), which focuses on traditional folklore about ghosts and ghost hauntings in New York State. Jones also had a strong interest in historical murders, which was theinspiration for his book
Murder at Cherry Hill
. Along with his wife, Agnes Halsey Jones, a folk art scholar in her own right, Jones published
New-Found Folk Art of the Young Republic
(1960). Other important contributions include
The Triumph of American Folk Art
(1975), and the creation of a 30,000-slide archive of folk artimages from across the United States, taken on a yearlong trip with his wife from 1972 to 1973. One of Jones’s most important contributions was the course onAmerican folk art that he and Mrs. Jones taught in the Cooperstown Graduate Program in the 1970s and 1980s, which inspired dozens of folklorists and folk arthistorians.
See also

Jean Lipman; Elie Nadelman; New York State Historical Association
Jones, Louis C.
Three Eyes on the Past: Exploring New York Folklife.
Syracuse, N.Y., 1982.Jones, Louis C., and Agnes Halsey.
New-Found Folk Art of the Young Republic.
Cooperstown, N.Y., 1960