William H. Johnson papers, 1922-1971, bulk 1926-1956

Johnson, William H. (William Henry), b. 1901 d. 1970
Painter, Educator, Printmaker
Active in New York, N.Y.

The papers of William H. (William Henry) Johnson in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2010. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 713 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Collection size: 1.3 linear ft.

Collection Summary: The papers of African American painter William H. Johnson date from 1922 to 1971, with the bulk of the material dating from 1926 to 1956, and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents Johnson's career as an artist in New York and in Europe and his marriage to textile artist Holcha Krake through scattered biographical material, including eight letters regarding the sale and exhibition of his work. Also found are exhibition catalogs, news clippings, other printed material, and photographs of Johnson, Krake, and their artwork. One scrapbook contains news clippings, letters, and additional photographs. Another scrapbook contains travel postcards. Also found are a few scattered records and research notes compiled by the Harmon Foundation regarding William H. Johnson.

Biographical/Historical Note: William H. Johnson (1901-1970) was a painter, printmaker, typographer, and teacher from New York, N.Y.

The materials were originally donated to the National Museum of American Art by the Harmon Foundation in 1982. NMAA subsequently transferred them to the Archives in 1982 and 1986.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • The bulk of the papers have been digitized and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. A scrapbook of postcards and photocopies of foreign news clippings have not been scanned.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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