This painting is Johnson's most famous work, and established his reputation as an artist. Though originally exhibited at the National Academy in April 1859 as Negro Life at the South, it was by 1867 popularly called Old Kentucky Home with a title taken from Stephen Foster's beloved song. He most likely began his work on this painting in 1858, and the setting was the backyard of his father's house in Washington, D.C. The white woman at right has been identified as Johnson's sister.


  • Title: Negro Life at the South
  • Creator: Eastman Johnson
  • Date Created: 1859
  • Physical Dimensions: 37 x 46 in. (94 x 116.8 cm)
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on linen
  • Art Genre: Cityscape
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Object Number: S-225
  • Credit Line: New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart

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