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Joshua Johnson

 (1765 - 1830)
Joshua (Johnston) Johnson was active/lived in Maryland.  Joshua Johnson is known for naive family portrait painting, often with pets.

Biography   Joshua Johnson


/ JAHN-stun /    click to hear
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 appearance, and quite often have a dog posed on the lap of the sitter.

He was the first known African-American professional portrait painter to work in the United States.  According to his advertisement in the Baltimore Intelligencer   ...  Displaying 750 of 3333 characters.

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An example of work by Joshua Johnson
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Mr. and Mrs. Hilmer Schumacher (a pair of works), c. 1808-1810
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PORTRAIT OF ELISHA STANSBURY
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