23/04/2024 4:49 PM


Adorn your Feelings

Artist Spotlight: Joshua Johnson

1 min read


Prime Graphic: “Portrait of Mrs. Barbara Baker Murphy (Spouse of Sea Captain)”, ca. 1810

Joshua Johnson (or Johnston) was a painter born in 1763. There have been a number of speculations about his origins, which include if he was even African American at all. However there were being no information of him becoming a former slave, several scholars believe that Johnson was biracial and was truthful ample to be mistakenly categorised as not African American. 

“Portrait of Sea Captain John Murphy“, ca. 1810.

As a painter, Johnson marketplaces himself as a self-taught artist, however it is doable that he continue to been given some form of teaching from the Peale spouse and children, who dominated the art scene in Baltimore in which Johnson resides. His portrait paintings are flat, stiff, contained comprehensive apparel, and pretty much constantly struggling with the same way. This is reminiscent of the fashion of Charles Peale Polk, which prospects to the chance that Johnston was really familiar with his operate and might have based mostly his design and style on him.

However, Johnson is the very first recorded African American to come to be a experienced painter, with many adhering to his footsteps to this working day.

“Sarah Ogden Gustin”, c. 1805.
“Grace Allison McCurdy (Mrs. Hugh McCurdy) and Her Daughters, Mary Jane and Letitia Grace”, c. 1806.


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