Portrait Of A Girl
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2007.133
People
Joshua Johnson, American (probably Baltimore, MD c. 1763, active 1796-1824 probably Baltimore, MD)
Title
Portrait of a Girl
Other Titles
Former Title: Unidentified Lady
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
c. 1810-1815
Culture
American
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
61 x 50.1 cm (24 x 19 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: A paper label on the wooden backing of the frame reads: "FROM/FITZGERALD'S/Emporium of Fine Arts/No. 5 (5?) N. GAY STREET/ BALTIMORE."
Provenance
Bertha Slattery Lieberman, Baltimore, MD; to her son William S. Lieberman, New York, NY; to Washburn Gallery, New York, NY, 1987-2005; Estate of William S. Lieberman, 2005-2007; his bequest to the Fogg Museum, 2007.
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of William S. Lieberman
Accession Year
2007
Object Number
2007.133
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Description
Joshua Johnson is the first documented African-American painter to work in the United States. He was a professional portrait painter who lived in Baltimore, Maryland. His birth and death dates, as well as place of birth and death, are unknown.
Publication History

Carolyn J. Weekley, Stiles Tuttle Colwill, Leroy Graham, and Mary Ellen Hayward, Joshua Johnson: Freeman and Early American Portrait Painter, exh. cat., Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore, MD, 1987), p. 150, cat. 63, ill.

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), p. 310, cat. 269, ill.

Exhibition History

Joshua Johnson: Freeman and Early American Portrait Painter, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, 01/17/1988 - 05/15/1988; Whitney Museum of American Art, 06/18/1988 - 08/25/1988; Whitney Museum of American Art, Stamford, CT Branch, 09/09/1988 - 11/09/1988; Maryland Historical Society, 09/26/1987 - 01/03/1988

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

4 - Best. Object is extensively researched, well described and information is vetted