Born in Florence, South Carolina, Johnson moved to Harlem in 1918, and enrolled at the National Academy of Design in New York. After being passed over for a scholarship during his final year of study, his instructor Charles Hawthorne privately raised funds so that Johnson could travel to Europe. After several years of study in Paris, he traveled to Denmark where he met his wife Holcha Krake. The Johnsons remained in Denmark until 1938, when the threat of Nazi invasion brought them back to New York. During this period, Johnson's work usually depicted scenes of Harlem or the rural South.


  • Title: Sowing
  • Creator: William H. Johnson
  • Date Created: ca. 1942
  • Physical Dimensions: w16 x h11.5 in
  • Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 16 inches
  • Type: Work on Paper
  • Rights: Museum purchase with funds provided by the Anna Heyward Taylor Fund
  • External Link: Gibbes Museum of Art
  • Medium: screenprint on paper

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