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J. Theodore Johnson (1902 - 1963)

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

11. Head of Mary Johnson, c. 1930

Ink on paper, 5 ½ x 3 ½ inches (unframed sheet), 10 x 8 inches (framed), inscribed “Head of Mary Johnson by Ted Johnson 1930” in pencil verso


Note: Marvin Cone appears to illustrate this sketch in the background his 1931 painting Flowers from my Garden, which was exhibited in Paintings by Marvin Cone, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, April 1931, as number 14

About the Artist

J. Theodore Johnson was an American painter and muralist who was born in Oregon, Illinois in 1902. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1921 to 1925 and in Paris with Andre Lhote. In 1928 and 1929, Johnson exploded onto the American art scene by winning two Logan medals at the Art Institute of Chicago, having solo exhibitions at the Arts Club of Chicago and the Little Gallery in Cedar Rapids Iowa, and being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for further study in France. Under the auspices of the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, Johnson received two mural commissions. The first in 1937 was for the Garden City, New York post office. The second was for four murals at the Oak Park Post Office in Illinois. Later in his career, Johnson taught at the Minneapolis School of Art and the San José College in California. Johnson died in Sunnyvale, California in 1963. Johnson is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and other standard references.


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