Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Hilliard, OH, United States
DoneSun, Apr 11, 2010 5:00 PM GMT
Estate of Roman E. Johnson Art Auction
Roman E. Johnson was born Sept 4, 1917 and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Johnson was one of six children, and a sickly child who was encouraged by his mother to draw. Johnson studied painting formally for two years with African-American artist Cletus Butler and in 1941 met Emerson Burkhart. Burkhart and Johnson worked together for six years painting many of the same eastside scenes. In 1946 Johnson went to New York to study at the Art Student's League. Johnson spent ten years in New York and a year in Paris before returning to Columbus. While in New York, Johnson studied under Edwin Dickinson and Ernest Fiene. A statement Johnson wrote for an exhibition when he was 72 best summarizes his seriousness of purpose as an artist: "I do paintings in an effort to enhance or continue the culture of Black people. In the 40s and 50s when I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I never saw any art by or about Blacks. So I decided to do that. I am personally indebted as an artist to Edwin Dickinson, Emerson Burkhart, Ernest Fiene and Kuniyoshi. It would be a damn shame to let those guys down considering all the time and attention they gave me. I labor on every painting out of respect for them; to do my subjects justice; and because painting is hard work." Roman E. Johnson was acknowledged with an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts Degree, at the Ohio Dominican College's Spring Commencement in 1998. In 2003, Dr. Johnson was distinguished as the Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio, Individual Artist recipient. Dr. Roman E. Johnson died Oct 24, 2005. This auction is conducted to settle the Estate of Roman E. Johnson, Franklin County Probate Court #514005, Adam R. Rinehart, Administrator.