Robert Edmond Jones - From Milton Farm Boy to Hollywood Producer

"Robert Edmond Jones - From Milton Farm Boy to Hollywood Producer"
October 7th 2011
7:00 in the Farmington Historical Society Museum 
Goodwin Library

Robert Edmond Jones (c. 1920)
Kathleen Shea
NH Farm Museum Director

Robert Edmond Jones was born on December 12, 1887, the son of Fred P. and Emma (Cowell) Jones of Plummer's Ridge, Milton, New Hampshire.

When Mr. Jones reached school age, he entered the rural school on the Ridge. Here he received his grammar school education. He entered Nute High School in the fall of 1900. While attending high school he was a member of the staff of the school paper and made several sketches and designs for it. He was graduated in 1904. Mr. Jones earned his tuition for his freshman year at Harvard by teaching school at West Milton (Nute's Ridge), Plummer's Ridge and Milton Grammar School. During his last three years in Cambridge, he earned his way by assisting in the department of Fine Arts.

He was graduated in 1910 from Harvard with cum laude honors, and remained two years as instructor in the Fine Arts Department.

He did his first designing for "Salome", put on for an audience of six in an undergraduate room. Kenneth MacGowan, one of the six, later influenced a New York producer in Mr. Jones' behalf.

He became noted for his novel stage settings and first attracted attention in this field in the spring of 1915 by his excellent work in the scenic design in the play, "The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife," produced by Granville Barker at Wallack's Theater , New York, and followed this success with many others including Percy MacKaye's play, "Washington, the Man Who Made Us," staged at the Lyric Theater in New York, September 19, 1920. Mr. Jones scenic work, especially his exterior of Mt. Vernon, the home of Washington, was outstanding. From this time on he became world famous and did the stage designing for many plays chief among which was "Green Pastures."

Although people had tried to interest him in movie scenic work they had but little luck, Mr. Jones remained loyal to New York and the legitimate stage.

Robert Edmond Jones article on Wikipedia

Robert Edmond Jones Collection at the UNH Library

Robert Edmond Jones on the Internet Broadway Database

Sets Designed by Robert Edmond Jones

Robert Edmond Jones


The Dramatic Imagination: Reflections

 and Speculations on the Art of the Theatre

Robert Edmund Jones

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