This exhibition is drawn entirely from the collection of more than 1,000 works by William H. Johnson given to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by the Harmon Foundation in 1967. Since that time, SAAM has organized exhibitions and installations of Johnson’s work and pursued an ongoing program of conservation for these fragile paintings.
The exhibition is organized by Virginia Mecklenburg, senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from Art Bridges, Faye and Robert Davidson, and the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation.
Decode imagery and discover hidden stories in artist William H. Johnson's Fighters for Freedom series. Reflect on connections between the individuals portrayed, from iconic to lesser-known, and how past struggles for justice may relate to the present.