Jane Maxwell


Jane Maxwell Biography


Born in Boston, 1964

B.A., Middlebury College 
Museum of Fine Art School 
DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA 
Montserrat College, Beverly, MA

Jane Maxwell is a mixed media artist from Boston, Massachusetts. Her work is exhibited at major galleries throughout the United States and acquired by collectors from around the world.

Maxwell’s artistic voice grew out of a passion for vintage materials, modern fashion and design – mingled with a deep fascination for pop culture and female icons.

Maxwell’s work has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles and in several books on mixed media and collage. She has been a college guest lecturer on the topic of body image and art. Recently, Jane was selected to be included in the 30th anniversary edition of “Who’s Who in American Art.”

Maxwell graduated with a BA in Literature from Middlebury College. She studied mixed media at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and at the Decordova Museum School in Lincoln, Massachusetts. 



THEN + NOW is Jane Maxwell’s exploration of a major life transition.  Her new solo show was created over the past year and a half as a way to process, grieve, accept and ultimately grow, from the end of a thirty-year marriage.  The work reflects her fragility and strength during this difficult time, while embracing a reverence and tenderness for the past.

For more than twenty years, Jane Maxwell’s artistic practice was driven by an examination of personal issues related to the pressures of society’s feminine ideals.  In her early years, Maxwell used vintage crate labels and movie posters to deconstruct silhouettes, to comment on the deluge of body image messaging.  In recent years, Maxwell has layered peeling billboard papers from Paris and Los Angeles to create silhouettes of women in moments of confidence, power and, just as importantly, in repose.  Worldwide art collectors have expressed profound connections with these strong images of women in scenes of domestic and urban living.   

With this new exhibition, Maxwell takes a deeper dive into her own psyche by mining a personal and vast trove of ephemera she has accumulated and stored for decades; from vintage dolls, ledger books, old boxes, three-dimensional letters and numbers to unique antique objects that have caught her eye over the years.  Sorting and integrating these collectibles has allowed Maxwell to create a body of work that represents both the unraveling and rebuilding of a life. 

“The last few years have been enormously complex for me. I feel so grateful that I was able to use my art to process the profound changes in my life.  After my separation, I went to the studio and found myself gravitating to bins of old materials I had been holding onto for years. I had a deep instinct to bury my hands in their history - to tear, layer, bind and tuck them into original forms. In a sense, I literally and figuratively let go of the old to create something entirely new. This process and series became my personal blueprint for healing.”

Maxwell also uses this latest body of work to step outside her signature medium of resined collage on panel.  While several of the pieces utilize her traditional materiality, the bulk of the show is a more raw and dimensional exploration.  With this approach, she was free to layer more deeply, thus allowing objects to jut off the canvas and punctuate the intensity of that time period.  In addition, Maxwell added the use of paper scrolls, described as ‘torah-like,’  in an effort to honor the sacredness of her past.  Finally, plexiglass boxes are used to represent the visualization technique that she and her therapist utilize as a way of isolating and processing difficult feelings. 

“A year and a half ago, I began working with these materials randomly and the tears flowed. It was a personal journey, unintended for public consumption. As I continued the work, I found that it evolved into a narrative about the friends and family who held me up, the capacity for new love, and a reclaimed strength.  With this healing and tentative confidence,  I step cautiously into the gallery domain to share this deeply personal work.”



I have loved fashion since I was a little girl. Some of my earliest memories are of visiting my grandfather’s garment factory in South Boston. He manufactured women’s clothing and I marveled at the huge bolts of fabric, the meticulous pattern makers and industrial stitching machines. His designer was a woman in her 20’s whom I simply worshipped. My grandfather would have his team create miniature versions of their designs for my sister and me, until we were old enough to go ‘shopping’ right off the revolving racks in his facility.

Into my adulthood, my love for fashion grew, but I went through a period of deeply resenting the fashion industry for teasing me with clothes that I could neither fit into nor afford. In fact, much of my art over the past 20 years has commented on my complicated relationship with fashion and its direct influence on the cultural epidemic of negative body image. As I’ve aged, I still can’t fit into most of the fashion I revere and I am still overwhelmed by the price tags, but something has shifted in me.

While I still struggle with ambivalent feelings, I have come to terms with the fact that I am deeply and unapologetically moved by fashion. I find it to be creative and innovative. I love the power, confidence and individuality it offers women. I am enamored with the color, shape, texture, fluidity and form of fashion. And, I am happy that the fashion world has begun to embrace women of different shapes and sizes (There is still a very long way to go, but this fashion season, I have seen more curvy women and racial diversity than ever).

This series celebrates fashion and power. The women on my canvas’ are striding with confidence, style and strength. They are influenced by the fashion seen on the pages of magazines, on the red carpet and fashion runway, but have made it uniquely their own. I am asserting authority, individuality and fearlessness. On these canvas’ I am putting into play my own fantasy of becoming a fashion designer by dressing these women in found papers with distinct pattern, texture and print.

Dresses are built from torn, layered billboard papers that I’ve torn down and repurposed as fashion.  I love the use of these rich, textured paper that have layers of history and are then transformed into modern style.


Cornell Art Museum, Art Couture: The Intersection of Art + Fashion, Delray Beach, FL
Lanoue Gallery, Solo exhibition, Boston, MA 

Lanoue Gallery, Summer Group Show, Boston, MA
Joanne Artman Gallery, The Art of Fashion, New York, NY
A Tribute to Grace Kelly, Special 5-piece commission, Monaco

Lanoue Gallery, Two person show with Paul Rousso, Boston, MA

Lanoue Gallery, Role Models [Solo Show] Boston, MA
Gilman Contemporary, Solo Show, Ketchum, ID
Whitewall Contemporary, Female, Delray, FL
Joanne Artman Gallery, Contemporary Consciousness, New York, NY

Caldwell Snyder Gallery [Solo Show], San Francisco, CA
Context Art Miami, Caldwell Snyder Booth
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA, Artist Demonstration
Joanne Artman Gallery ‘Pared Down Synchronicity’, Jane Maxwell & Matt Devine, Laguna Beach, CA
Joanne Artman Gallery [Solo Show], “Not So Plain Jane”, New York, NY
Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA
Art Market San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Miami Context, Caldwell Snyder Booth
Gilman Contemporary [Solo Show], Sun Valley, ID

Art SiliconValley, San Francisco, CA
Lanoue Gallery, Boston, MA
Campton Gallery [Solo Show], New York, NY

Lanoue Fine Art [Solo Show], Boston, MA
Caldwell Snyder Gallery [Solo Show], St. Helena, CA
Affordable Art Fair, New York, NY
Joanne Artman Gallery Laguna Beach, CA
Art Houston

Campton Gallery [Solo Show], New York, NY
Brown University List Art Center, Providence, RI
artMARKET San Francisco
Gilman Contemporary [Solo Show], Ketchum, ID

Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA
Campton Gallery [Solo Show], New York, NY
San Francisco Art Fair
Madison Gallery, ‘Females on Figures’, La Jolla, CA
Gilman Contemporary, Sun Valley, ID

Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA 
Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA 
Victorine Contemporary, Newport, RI 
Gilman Contemporary, Ketchum, ID 
Art Aspen, Aspen Ice Garden

Campton Gallery, New York, NY 
Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA 
Reign Gallery, Newport, RI

Campton Gallery, New York, NY 
Hubert Gallery, New York, NY

"S, M, L, XL", New England Art Institute Gallery, Brookline, MA

Oylan Gallery, Cambridge, MA 
Carney Gallery, Weston, MA

Mario Russo Salon, Louis Boston, Boston, MA, 

Go Figure, Lanoue Fine Art, Boston, MA 
Mauger Modern Art, Art London: London, UK 
Red Dot Miami, Miami, FL 
Los Angeles Art Show, Los Angeles, CA LA Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA

Galerie Geraldine, Zberro, Paris

2007 Hiedi Cho Gallery, New York, NY

2006 "Made in America", Judi Rotenberg Gallery, Boston, MA 
"Serious Fun: Whimsicle Art by Fine Artists", Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA 
"Her Mark", Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL 
"Small Works National Juried Art Exhibition", Attleboro Arts Museum, Juror's Choic Award, Attleboro, MA 
"Fiber and the Book Artist", Fiber Art Center, Amherst, MA 
"Blue", Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA

"Director's Choice", Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA 
"Communicating Through Collage", Cushing-Martin Gallery, Stonehill, MA

"Icons and Alters", New Art Center, Newton, MA 
"Women Spring into Life", BAAK Gallery, Cambridge, MA

"Inner Selections", DK Project Art, Boston, MA 
"Icons and Alters", New Art Center, Newton, MA

Holzwasser Gallery, Newton, MA 
"Persona",The Somerville Museum, Somerville, MA 
"Hot Colors", Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA 
"Icons and Alters", New Art Center, Newton, MA

2001 "Face to Face",The Stage Gallery, Merrick, NY 
"Red", Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA

"Rhymes & Rhythms", ArtWorks!, New Bedford, MA 
"International Show", Period Art Gallery, Omaha, NE 
"Annual Juried Show", Newburyport Art Association, Mixed Media Prize, Newburyport, MA


Artscope Magazine, "Society Women: Jane Maxwell Undresses Pop Culture", Catherine Creighton, November/December, 2013

West of Boston Life Magazine, Feature Article, Winter 2010

"Mixed Media Collage", Fall 2008, Quarry Books

"Complete Color Harmony Workbook", Rockport Books, May 2007

"Artful Paper Dolls", Lark Books, June 2006, Taylor, Terry

"Beyond Paper Dolls", Stampington & Company, September 2006, Perella, Lynne

"Collage Sourcebook", Quary Books, 2005, Atkinson, Jennifer, Harrison Holly and Grasdal, Paula

"Collage for the Soul",Rockport Books, 2003, Harrison, Holly and Paula, Grasdal

"Altered Books, Collaborative Journals, and Other Adventures in Bookmaking", Rockport Books, 2003, Harrison, Holly

Artella Magazine, Issue #10, 2007.

"Paper Dolls That Deliver a Message",The Boston Sunday Globe, February 11, 2007.

"Icons and Altars", Newton Magazine, December 2006

"Arts Outlook", Newton Magazine, April 2006

"Sidekick", The Boston Globe, Cover January 17, 2006

"Campus Calendar",The Boston Globe, January 19, 2006

"All Doll-ed Up",The Metrowest Daily News, January 19, 2006

"Exploring Body Image With Paper Doll Cut-Outs", The Wayland/Weston Town Crier, January 19, 2006

"Fragmented Paper Dolls Reflect Women's Unease", Middlesex Beat, February 2006

"People", The Boston Sunday Globe, May 9, 2004

"Working Order", The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, August 24, 2003

"Putting it all Together", The Boston Sunday Globe, May 11, 2003

"Windows into the Souls of Artists", The Newton Tab, May 14, 2003

"Persona", Art New England, Somerville Museum Show Review, August/September, 2002.


Jane Maxwell Solo Exhibition 2020