Beauty of Daily Life: William H. Johnson’s Colorful Depictions of African Americans

WASHINGTON, DC—Known for his colorful portraits of African American daily life, William H. Johnson‘s aesthetic could be described as elegant vernacular. An important 20th century artist, three of his paintings are on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum which owns the largest collection of his work, including works on paper.

“Man in Vest” is a fine example of Johnson’s canvases. The engaging portrait is defined by his introduction of bold color in the red chair, blue hair and layered background.

A native of South Carolina, Johnson (1901-1970) studied in New York and spent a significant part of his career living and working in Europe.

All photos by Arts Observer

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