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 Joshua (Johnston) Johnson  (1765 - 1830)

/ JAHN-stun/
About: Joshua (Johnston) Johnson


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Lived/Active: Maryland      Known for: naive family portrait painting, often with pets

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BIOGRAPHY for Joshua Johnson


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naive family portrait painting, often with pets

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Black American Artists
Reportedly America's first professional black artist that was a free man, Joshua Johnson, whose name is written both as Johnson and Johnston, was originally from the West Indies and then came to the American South.  He was an itinerant portrait painter among wealthy plantation owners in Maryland and Virginia, and his style was derived from the conventional English portrait style of bust-length poses and arranged backdrops.  His portrait figures are stiff, prim and flat in appear (showing 500 of 3333 characters).

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