Skip to main content

Eastman Johnson letters, 1851-1899

Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906

Painter

The papers of Eastman Johnson were digitized in 2005 by the Archives of American Art. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 29 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 0.2 Linear feet

Summary: The letters of Eastman Johnson measures 0.2 linear feet and contains 12 items that date from 1851 to 1899. The letters provide scattered documentation of his career as a painter and printmaker.

Biographical/Historical Note

American painter and printmaker Jonathan Eastman Johnson was born in Lovell, Maine in 1824. After apprenticing with a Boston lithographer, he moved to Washington D.C. in 1845 and became a portraitist of prominent Americans, including Daniel Webster and Dolly Madison. Beginning in 1849, Johnson spent two years at the Royal Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany, studying with Emanuel Leutze, and three years at The Hague. After returning to America in 1855, he settled in New York and focused on painting American genre subjects including Native Americans, African Americans, and farmers. He married Elizabeth Buckley in 1869, and they bought a home in Nantucket where he spent every summer for the rest of his life. After 1880, as the popularity of genre paintings declined, Johnson focused again on portraiture. He died in 1906.

Provenance

Items were donated in 1979 by Caroline Johnson Brown, Johnson's grand-niece, in 1976 by Letitia Howe, and by Charles E. Feinberg, an active donor to the Archives of American Art between 1955 and 1962, and were microfilmed after receipt.

Funding

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