Eastman Johnson

American, 1824 - 1906
Eastman Johnson studied art in Dusseldorf from 1849-51 and then at The Hague from 1851-55 where he was known as the "American Rembrandt". He also studied lithography for a year before he took up crayon portraiture. Upon returning from Europe, Johnson traveled a bit before settling in NYC in 1859. Johnson's subjects were usually African American life as well as rural genre paintings. "The Old Kentucky Home" showed a poignant state of Southern social structure in the eve of the Civil War, juxtaposing slave quarters with the owner's mansion. This painting won him election to the National Academy. In the 1880s Johnson painted portraits of the rich and famous such as John Quincy Dams, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The year after Johnson's death his collection was sold at an auction in New York.

Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery, www.antiquesandfineart.com/caldwell
Eastman Johnson, portrait and genre painter, was perhaps the most prominent and successful of the many American artists who came to the fore at the time of the Civil War. Born Jonathan Eastman Johnson in Lowell, Maine, July 29, 1824; died in New York, April 5, 1906. He studied in Dusseldorf, Rome, Paris and The Hague, and settled in New York, becoming a member of the National Academy of Design in 1860. He was the son of Philip C. Johnson, Secretary of State for Maine. He worked in a lithographic establishment in Boston in 1840 and after a year went to Augusta, ME, where he commenced making portraits in back crayon. He also visited Newport. In 1845 the family moved to Washington D.C., and young Johnson drew many crayon portraits, working in the Senate Committee Rooms at the Capitol. In 1858 he moved to New York, where he remained the rest of his life, except for a period spent in Boston and in visits to Europe in 1885, 1891 and 1897.

He painted his best rural genre in Nantucket, during the 1870's.

National Academy of Design, 1860
Society of American Artists, 1881
Century Association

Paris Exposition, 1889 (medal), 1900 (medal)
Pan American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (gold medal)
Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904, (gold medal)

Public Collections (partial):
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
New York Historical Society, New York City
Timken Art Gallery, San Diego

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
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