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Eastman Johnson letters, 1851-1899

Eastman Johnson letters, 1851-1899

Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906

Painter

Representative image for Eastman Johnson letters, 1851-1899

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: 12 items

Summary: The letters of Eastman Johnson contain 12 items and date from 1851 to 1899. The letters provide scattered documentation of his career as a painter and printmaker.

Biographical/Historical Note

Eastman Johnson (1824-1906) was a painter in New York, N.Y. Born in Lovell, Maine, Johnson was employed by lithographer John H. Bufford in 1840. He became known for his charcoal portraits during his travels on the East Coast. In 1849, he studied with Emanuel Leutze in Dusseldorf, Germany, and continued his studies in The Hague and Paris before his return to the United States in 1855, finally settling in New York in 1859.

Provenance

Portion donated 1955-1962 by Charles Feinberg, an active donor and friend of AAA. Additional letters were purchased at auction by AAA in 1968. Portion donated 1976 by Letitia Howe, an active donor to AAA. Additional material donated 1979 by Caroline Johnson Brown, Johnson's grand-niece.

Related Materials

Funding

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

A Finding Aid to the Eastman Johnson Letters,
1851-1899
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.johneast
Author
Finding aid prepared by Erin Corley
Biographical 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.
Arrangement
Due to the small size of this collection, items are categorized into one series consisting of two folders. Items are arranged chronologically.
Scope and Content Note
The letters of Eastman Johnson contain 12 items and date from 1851 to 1899. The letters provide scattered documentation of his career as a painter and printmaker.
The collection includes a letter to Mr. Champney concerning a painting by Eugene Benson, a letter to Charles Lanman, personal Secretary to Daniel Webster, a letter to Alfred Ordway, artist and Director of Paintings at the Boston Athenaeum, a letter to friend and patron John Coyle, and a letter to Mr. Cozzens concerning a painting which was already sold. Also found are two letters to artist and close friend Jervis McEntee, a letter to an unidentified Mrs. P, stating that he must go to Albany before starting another picture, a letter to Mr. Clark concerning a portrait, and a letter to Dr. Hochheimer regarding a print by Henry Wolf after one of Johnson's paintings. Also included in the collection is an oversize letter, written by Johnson in Dusseldorf, to his friend Charlotte Child, in which he speaks of his impressions of Germany, mutual friends, and working in Leutze's studio.
Provenance
Portion donated 1955-1962 by Charles Feinberg, an active donor and friend of AAA. Additional letters were purchased at auction by AAA in 1968. Portion donated 1976 by Letitia Howe, an active donor to AAA. Additional material donated 1979 by Caroline Johnson Brown, Johnson's grand-niece.
Processing Information
The collection was received in several accessions and microfilmed at some point after receipt on reels D10, D30, D316, 2814, 5030, 1817, and 3483. The entire collection was fully processed, arranged, and described by Erin Corley and scanned in 2005, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Eastman Johnson letters, 1851-1899. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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