Black History: Special Delivery!!
William H. Johnson (1901 – 1970) was an African American painter. Born in Florence, South Carolina. He was the oldest of five children. Johnson moved to New York at age 17 where he was employed as a cook, porter, and stevedore. Johnson saved up enough money to pay for tuition and enrolled at the School of the National National Academy Design. While there, he was mentored by artist, Charles W. Hawthorne. Hawthorne paid for him to study abroad in France in 1926. Johnson worked as a janitor to earn extra money during that time. In 1930, he married an artist, Holcha Krake. The couple traveled extensively. In 1932 they arrived in Tunisia where they stayed for three months. His artistic works changed dramatically during this time. His pieces feature more bold colors and shapes, and were centered on African American subjects. As World War II loomed, Johnson relocated back to the U.S. settling in New York. Continue reading “William H. Johnson: African American Folk & Expressionist Painter”