|Frank Tenney Johnson |
Painter and illustrator, Frank Tenney Johnson was born near Big Grove, Iowa on June 26, 1874. The farm on which Johnson was raised was located on the old Overland Trail where as a child he observed the westward migration. In his early teens he ran away from home and became an apprentice to the panorama painter F.W. Heine in Milwaukee, and at age 15 studied with Texas Ranger, Richard Lorenz. Moving to NYC in 1895, he studied at the ASL, NY School of Art, and with Chase Mora, Miller, and Henri. He worked for Milwaukee newspapers, until 1902 and in 1904 worked as a cowboy in Colorado. Johnson then returned to NYC he gained national fame as a painter and illustrator of cowboys and Indians. While working in NYC, he visited California in 1912 and 1918. During the 1920s he settled in Alhambra, CA where he shared a studio with artist Clyde Forsythe. The two artists established the Biltmore Art Gallery in Los Angeles as a market place for their works. Johnson was one of the few painters of cowboys and Indians who specialized in nocturnes. He died in LA on January 1, 1939 of spinal meningitis.
Member: NA, 1937; Salmagundi Club, NY; NAC, NY; AFA; Allied AA; American WC Club; Laguna Beach AA; Calif. Art Club; Painters of the West; Highland Park Society of Artists, Dallas, TX; Foundation of Western Artists; San Gabriel Art League.
Exhibited: Wisconsin Painters Society, 1919; Allied AA, 1919 (silver medal); Salmagundi Club, 1923 (prize); Biltmore Salon (LA), 1924, 1926, 1929, 1935, 1941; Ebell Club (LA), 1927, 1929, 1933 (prize); Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1927-29; Texas Wild Flower Show, 1929 (prize); Allied Artists of America, 1929 (silver medal); Painters of the West, 1930 (silver medal); Gardena High School, 1937 (prize); GGIE, 1939; Grand Central Galleries (NYC), 1941 (memorial).
Works held: NMAA; NAC; Dallas AA; Highland Park Society of Artist, Dallas, TX; Royal Palace, Copenhagen; Fort Worth Museum; Chicago Athletic Club; Cathay Circle Theatre, LA; Phoenix Municipal Art Gallery.