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John Jacob Anderson and Sons, John and Edward

Joshua Johnson

American Art

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
Joshua 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 making his living as a portraitist in the racially tolerant environment of Baltimore, where one-fifth of the population was black and one-quarter of all blacks were free.

Johnson had a talent for the tender delineation of family ties. Here, the small boys each extend an arm to their father and rest a pale hand on his sturdy form. Their father’s hand, open in his lap, suggests a gentle accessibility.
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)
COLLECTIONS American Art
ACCESSION NUMBER 1993.82
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Mary Smith Dorward Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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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_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1993.82_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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