American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Street Musicians

Street Musicians
William Henry Johnson (1901-1970)
Street Musicians, ca. 1940
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift of the Harmon Foundation, ca. 1970 (151.9)

William H. Johnson arrived in Harlem in1918 from Florence, South Carolina, at the onset of the Harlem Renaissance. Considered a major American artist, he attended the National Academy of Arts and studies under Charles Hawthorne. After graduation Johnson left New York to pursue his painting career in Europe. Known primarily for his narrative, expressive style, and intense colors, Johnson's best-known work depicts the lifestyles of African Americans in urban and rural areas in the first half of the twentieth century.

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