William Henry Johnson (1901-1970)
Street Musicians, ca.
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.