I had just begun my career as a librarian at the Amon Carter Museum in 1979 when my boss, Nancy Wynne, asked me to take care of a distinguished colleague of hers who wanted to visit the library. She explained that she was an active member of the then relatively-new ARLIS/NA, a group I knew about but had not yet participated in. Being painfully young and somewhat naive, I expected that this visitor would not require a lot of energy and would be quite content with the basic tour. Well, the minute the door opened and in swept Lois Jones, I knew that I was in for a breakneck romp through the collection. I hesitate to call her visit a sacking of the formidable resources of the Amon Carter, but it did look and feel as though a tornado had swept through--but she left with the knowledge that her visit had converted one young art librarian into an admirer for life.
I tell this story as a metaphor for the incredible energy that permeates the life and career of this year's recipient of the ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Lois Swan Jones. For it's true that everything that Lois tackles is done with her characteristic vigor, intelligence, good humor, and charm. Lois has distinguished herself as a leader in three arenas: as a professor of art history; as an author of the standard work on art information research methods; and as a mentor to a generation of art information specialists. Her willingness to share all that she has is reflected in her personal life as well. In addition to her two sons, Preston and Jeffrey, she has two granddaughters. And those of us who have known Lois for a long time remember the devotion she showed to her parents and neighbors. In addition, she has somehow found the time to travel to Europe each year for the last 31 years, adding to her formidable collection of visual resources which have been the source of her numerous slide and video presentations.
Lois' energy (and her red hair) continues to propel her forward at a time when many would be content to reflect on their life, for she has "drunk deep at the well." Yet, she continues her quest for new ways of looking at art information. But this 25th anniversary conference of ARLIS/NA allows us to look back and reflect--therefore, it is entirely appropriate for us to recognize someone who has been there during the formative times--and, as Philip Pacey has said, has been a partner with us in the development of arts information--please join me in welcoming a very great lady, Lois Swan Jones.
Milan R. Hughston
Amon Carter Museum