Minnie Johnson (1874-1954), Still Life with Cake, 1895, oil on canvas, 24 x 36", frame: 29.5 x 41.75"
Provenance: purchased from her cousin's estate in Elgin, TX
Minnie Lee Wolaver Johnson in Giles County, Tennessee. The Wolaver family moved to Texas before 1900 and Minnie was married there about 1896 to John Daniel Johnson. The Johnsons were living in Dallas, Texas in 1920 where John was employed as an "agent, insurance". Minnie is listed in Artists of the American West by Dawdy, Dictionary of Women Artists by Petteys, Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, Dictionary of Texas Artists 1800-1945 by Grauer, Index of Artists - Supplement by Mallett, Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists by Powers and Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide. According to these sources, she studied under Lawrence L. Cohen at Trinity University, Waxahachie, Texas, Lucille Sinclair Douglas in New York, George Brandt Bridgman at the Art Students League of New York, William Alexander Griffith in Laguna Beach, California, and Frank Reaugh and Adele Laure Brunet in Dallas. During the 1920s Minnie taught art lessons in Lubbock, and had previously taught in San Angelo and Wichita Falls, Texas. According to Powers, she graduated from the Southern School of Interior Decorating and opened a studio in Dallas in 1928, though the 1940 census indicates that her education consisted of four years of high school. Johnson appears to have primarily been a painter in oils and exhibited her work at the Annual Exhibition of Texas Artists, Dallas Woman's Forum (1927); the Annual Texas Artists Exhibition, Fort Worth (1928, 1937); the Annual Allied Art Exhibition, Dallas (1929-33, 1935); and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas (1936). Some sources indicate that she painted several murals in Texas high schools.