Li’L Sis

  • William H. Johnson, Li'L Sis, 1944, oil on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.1023

The little girl in this portrait holds a flyswatter, ready to wave away any insects from the baby in her charge. The scumbled yellow background emphasizes the child’s dark skin and focuses our attention on her stalwart pose and grave eyes. William H. Johnson returned to his hometown of Florence, South Carolina, in 1944 to reacquaint himself with his family and to paint scenes from the community he grew up in. The younger children did not know Johnson, however, and his unpredictable behavior and short temper may account for the girl’s uneasy but resolute expression.

Title
Li’L Sis
Artist
Date
1944
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
2621 14 in. (66.154.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Harmon Foundation

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on paperboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait female – Brown, Ernestine – child
  • Object – toy – doll
  • African-American
  • African American
Object Number
1967.59.1023
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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