Self-Portrait

  • William H. Johnson, Self-Portrait, ca. 1923-1926, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.679

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This self-portrait reflects William H. Johnson’s training at the National Academy of Design. His painting teacher, Charles Hawthorne, encouraged his students to paint with “spots of color,” using a palette knife instead of a brush (Powell, Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson, 1991). Here, patches of red, yellow, and blue pigment lift Johnson’s features out of the background and give his self-portrait the somber dignity that the National Academy fostered in its artists.

Title
Self-Portrait
Artist
Date
ca. 1923-1926
On View
Dimensions
29 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (75.5 x 60.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Harmon Foundation

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Johnson, William H. – self-portrait
  • Occupation – art – printmaker
  • Occupation – art – painter
  • Ethnic – African-American
  • Portrait male – Johnson, William H. – waist length
Object Number
1967.59.679
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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