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J. Theodore Johnson

Born:
Oregon, Illinois 1902

Died:
Sunnyvale, California 1963

Luce Artist Biography

J. Theodore Johnson is best known for the four murals he created for the Oak Park Post Office in Chicago while working for the Works Progress Administration. The United States government called him in New York and commissioned him to depict a series of historically significant moments in Oak Park’s history. Having studied at the Chicago Art Institute, Johnson saw this as a homecoming, but some community leaders expressed concern that he had not lived in Chicago long enough to depict its history effectively. The murals ultimately won praise, and Johnson exhibited his work widely during his lifetime. Later in his career he taught at the Minneapolis School of Art and the San José College in California.