Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
His painting now hang in many museums, including the Metropolitan in New York and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Below are two of Johnson's commissions, both painted between 1805 and 1910. On the right is the James McCormick Family. On the left is an unidentified cleric, one of the few known black subjects attributed to Johnson.
Erected 1984 by the Maryland Commission on Afro-American History and the City of Baltimore.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers marker series.
Location. Marker has been confirmed missing. It was likely located near 39° 17.351′ N, 76° 36.983′ W. Marker was in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker could be reached from the intersection of West Baltimore Street and North Hanover Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. The marker was located on the exterior of the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, which is near the location of one of Johnson's studios. It is either missing or obscured as a result of ongoing rehabilitation / renovation work to the theatre. Marker was in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Inspired Words (here, next to this marker); Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. (about 700 feet away); Charles Center & One Charles Center (about 700 feet away); To Commemorate the Inauguration of a Chemical Industry in America (about 800 feet away); Cecilius Calvert (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mob Scene (approx. 0.2 miles away); Beehler Umbrella Factory (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
More about this marker. The marker was similar in style to many of the historical markers erected by the city of Baltimore to commemorate historic sites and buildings.
It was originally dedicated on June 8, 1984 at 11:00 a.m. Those present included: Dr. Roland C. McConnell, chairman, Maryland Commission on Afro-American History and Culture; Rev. James J. Fuller, board member, Maryland Commission on Afro-American History and Culture; Carroll Greene, Jr., Director / Curator, Banneker-Douglass Museum of Afro-American Life and History; Dr. Leslie King Hammond, Dean, Graduate Studies, Maryland Institute College of Art; Diana Digges, Coordinator, Baltimore City Historical Markers Program, CHAP; Professor James Lewis, Director, Gallery of Art, Morgan State University; and
Regarding Joshua Johnson. Joshua Johnson (circa 1763–1832) was the first African American to make his living making art.
Johnson's worked primarily in Baltimore, Maryland, and may have studies under Charles Wilson Peale. At present, there are more than 80 extant works attributed to Johnson.
The most extensive document of his life and work thus far is the 1987 exhibition catalogue Joshua Johnson: Freeman and Early American Portrait Painter.
1. Josshua Johnson
Portrait Artist and "Self-Taught Genius"
“Joshua Johnson, the earliest known free-black portrait painter in America, remained unknown until 1939. His unique story has evolved slowly as scholars have pieced together works attributed to him as well as documents related to his personal history. Chattel records affirm that Johnson was a "light mullatto,"~ born to an enslaved woman owned by William Wheeler, Sr. of Baltimore, and a white man, George Johnson (Johnston). On October 6, 1764 Wheeler sold Johnson to his father for $25 and arranged for his son to apprentice as a blacksmith. In 1796, the Baltimore city directory lists Johnson as a portrait painter living between
— Submitted December 18, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 3,748 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 2, 3. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on December 19, 2016.