Posts Tagged ‘frank tenney johnson’

Artist of the moment…..Frank Tenney Johnson….

The artist is well known for his painting of nocturnal scenes, I consider he and Frederick Remington to be the best when it comes to painting works that take place in darkness or twilight.

A short clip from the Ackerman Gallery of Art. A few slides and quick background info are given.

A brief clip showing Bonhams and Butterfields auction house getting ready for an art auction. The artist is mentioned starting around 1 minute and 55 seconds into the clip.

Frank Tenney Johnson painted mainly with oils on canvas but also was a great watercolorist and made several preliminary works in pencil and charcoal.  The artist was a master at portraying contrasts in both color and light and dark shapes that are seen in the night time. I enjoy his cowboys more than any other artist because so little is stated in the face but the mood and still quiet of the night is captured perfectly.

high price range:  657,000 for the last picture in the gallery TIME TO WAKE THE COOK.

low price range:  At auction in January of this year  some oil paintings were sold for $3,750.

The artist is part of a very ineresting news story that broke recently in Bridgwater, Massachusetts. A library there had a painting hanging that was a donation.  One day a visitor asked if the piece was an original. It was an original painted by Frank Tenney Johnson titled ” Trooper on Guard.”  Johnson painted the piece in 1935 and it was donated to the library in 1967.  The piece is currently undergoing restoration at Vose Galleries in Boston. Once fully restored the piece is thought to be worth as much as $375,000 at auction.

The musuem is at odds of what to do with the painting. The library doesn’t meet museum standard security, and the risk is too  great that someone will steal the painting  if the musuem brags about owning such a valuable work. More than likely the library will sell the piece at auction and reap the financial benefits.

The artist was born in 1874 in Coucil Bluffs, Iowa. At tens of age the artist moved to Milwaukee. He then became an apprentice to F.W. Heine, a well respected painter of panoramic views of the Western part of the States. He also was an apprentice under Richard Lorenz, an artist specializing in painting horses and scenes of the west.

Later in life the artist moved to New York where he blossomed as a painter studying under such as artists as William Merritt Chase, John Twachtman, and Kenneth Milller, and Robert Henri.

The artist was first a very successful illustrator working on books for Zane Grey and magazines such as Field and Stream. In addition he became an attorney and was quite active. He spent much of his later years on a ranch he owned just outside of Cody, Wyoming.

The artist died oddly in 1939. He attended a party and kissed the hostess. He either contracted or passed the virus spinal meningitis, he died the next day.

In closing this artist is my favorite painter alongside Frederick Remington in capturing the “Color of Night.”  This was a great exhibit I saw at the Denver Art Museum and encourage art fans to take a closer look at “nocturnal scenes.”  The artist went to great lengths to produce his night scenes sometimes taking one year to complete them.

Try a night scene today!

Happy painting!

D