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John Jacob Anderson and Sons, John and Edward

Joshua Johnson

American Art

Joshua Johnson had a talent for the tender delineation of family ties. Here, each of the young boys extends an arm to their father and rests a pale hand on his sturdy form. Their father’s hand, open in his lap, suggests a gentle accessibility.

Johnson was born into slavery. The son of a white man and an enslaved African American woman, he was freed by his father in 1782. By the end of the eighteenth century, he was a successful portraitist in the racially tolerant environment of Baltimore, where one-fifth of the population was Black and one-quarter of all Black residents were free.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1812–1815
DIMENSIONS 30 1/8 x 39 11/16 in. (76.5 x 100.8 cm) frame: 37 x 46 1/2 x 3 1/8 in. (94 x 118.1 x 7.9 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Mary Smith Dorward Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Joshua Johnson (active circa 1795–1825). John Jacob Anderson and Sons, John and Edward, ca. 1812–1815. Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 39 11/16 in. (76.5 x 100.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Mary Smith Dorward Fund, 1993.82 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1993.82_PS22.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1993.82_PS22.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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