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J. Theodore Johnson (1902 - 1963)

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

10. Etude de Pomme I, c. 1928

Oil on canvas board, 7 ½ x 9 ½ inches (unframed), 11 ¼ x 13 ¼ inches (framed), signed “J Theo Johnson”verso, titled “Etude de Pomme I” verso, canvas board marked “Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet/ 19 Rue Vavin, 2 Rue Bren-Paris” verso, inscribed “28/21” and “21” verso; inscribed “Johnson/ Rowan” verso



i) a two-person exhibition of works by Johnson and Francis Chapin at the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery, Davenport, Iowa, in January and February 1929 (see Artists Given Reception at Art Gallery Courtesy Marks Opening of Johnson-Chapin Exhibition This Week, the Quad-City Times, (Davenport, Iowa), January 20, 1929 – listing a work with this title); ii) a solo exhibition of Johnson’s work at the Little Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in February/March 1929 (see Rowan, Edward B., Art News of the Little Gallery, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), March 7, 1929, noting that the exhibition included Johnson’s oil still life studies completed in France and extensively quoting the Acting Director of the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery describing Johnson’s Davenport solo show and indicating many of the paintings from the Davenport exhibition were included in the Little Gallery exhibition)

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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