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 John Young Johnstone  (1887 - 1930)

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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada/Cuba      Known for: landscape, city and village, harbor, figure, and genre painting

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Ad Code: 3
Johnny Johnstone
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John Young Johnstone was a painter and educator.  He was born in Montreal where, other than for travel and school, he lived his entire life.  He died while visiting Havana, Cuba.
His primary mediums were oil on panel and oil on canvas (1).  Works in pencil, ink, pastel and watercolour are rare.  His subjects are landscapes, buildings, urban streets, rural villages, farm houses, harbours, figures and genre.  The locations are in and around Montreal, and from his travels in France, Belgium and Switzerland.  His styles are Impressionism and Plein Air.
He studied at the Art Association of Montreal (c.1905) under William Brymner and at l'Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (c.1910) under Lucien Simon, Claudio Castelucho (AKA: Claudio Castelucho Diana), and Emile-Rene Menard (see all teachers in AskART).  He taught at Montreal's Monument National (1918 - 1928) and gave sketching classes on Saturdays in his studio (2).
In 1920, he was elected an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (ARCA), whom he exhibited with from 1915 to 1923.  He was also a member of the Montreal Pen and Pencil Club and the Beaver Hall Group *.  In addition to exhibiting with the above groups he also exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal (3) from 1911 to 1925.  More recently, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff (Montreal) had a (catalogued) retrospective of his work in 2005, and D&E Lake (Toronto) included his paintings in their 2007 exhibition series "The Decades of Canadian Art".
His works are avidly collected. They are also in several public collections including the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec City), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (B.C.) and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa).

* For refernces for these terms and others, see AskART Glossary

(1) His auction sales are dominated by small works on panel, sizes like 4.75" X  7" and  5.25" X 6.75" are quite common.  In the years 2007 and 2008 the largest Johnstone painting recorded sold at auction by AskART was only 10.25" X 13.75" (the results are similar for other auction recording sources checked by the author).  Of the four oil on canvas paintings purchased, between 1915 and 1924 (Johnstone's lifetime), by the National Gallery of Canada, the largest is 28" X 38".
(2) Samuel Borenstein (see AskART) was one of his Saturday students.
(3) The AAM became the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1948.

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke

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