Johnson, William Henry

Johnson, William Henry

March 18, 1901–April 13, 1970


Scene in Corsica

Born in Florence, South Carolina, Johnson moved to Harlem in 1918, and enrolled at the National Academy of Design in New York. After being passed over for a scholarship during his final year of study, his instructor Charles Hawthorne privately raised funds so that Johnson could travel to Europe. After several years of study in Paris, he traveled to Denmark where he met his wife Holcha Krake. The Johnsons remained in Denmark until 1938, when the threat of Nazi invasion brought them back to New York. During this period, Johnson’s work usually depicted scenes of Harlem or the rural South.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Johnson, William Henry
  • Coverage March 18, 1901–April 13, 1970
  • Author
  • Keywords Painter, worked as a fireman for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Chaim Soutine, expressionist, Harmon Foundation, Columbia Museum of Art, Gibbes Museum of Art, Greenville County Museum of Art, and Florence Museum, one of the most important African American artists of the twentieth century
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date March 4, 2024
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 5, 2022
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