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 Paul Bessac Johnson  (1907 - 1991)

About: Paul Bessac Johnson


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: wildlife-waterfowl

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Paul Bessac Johnson was born in San Francisco, California in 1907. He attended the San Francisco School of Fine Arts on a scholarship that he won with his drawing and sculpture. For many years, Paul worked as a wildlife artist for the California Department of Fish and Game. Illustrations for their publications and the designing of Duck, Pheasant, and Fishing Stamps was his responsibility. In fact, he designed the very first Duck Stamp for the state of California.

Paul Johnson did wildlife illustration for a number of national magazines, state and federal agencies and private sportsmen's organizations. Much of his later work was done for the Ducks Unlimited organization.

Paul enjoyed duck hunting at Colusa, California during waterfowl season. He maintained his studio in Sacramento, California until his death in 1991.

Written and submitted February 2005 by Kathleen Green, whose source is Green's sister, the wife of the artist.

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in California on Feb. 18, 1907. Paul was the son of artist Arthur O. Johnson. After studying at the CCAC and CSFA, he was active in San Francisco until the outbreak of WWII. He then served as a private in the Army and, while at Camp Roberts, painted a mural in the recreation hall. He died in Sacramento on Aug. 31, 1991.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Oakland Tribune, 7-23-1943; Death record.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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