Frank Tenney Johnson Biography | Oil Paintings
6-26-1874 Oakland, USA - 1-1-1939 Pasadena, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
In 1893, Frank Tenney Johnson at age nineteen enrolled in the Milwaukee School of Art, where he studied with Richard Lorenz, a well-known painter of American Western art. In 1895, Johnson moved to New York City where he studied with John Henry Twachtman at the Art Students League.
In his early career, he worked as an illustrator. He began working for Field & Stream magazine in 1904. Besides Field & Stream, he contributed to Cosmopolitan and Harper's Weekly magazines and illustrated the Western novels of Zane Grey.
Frank Tenney Johnson lived in New York from 1904 until 1920, making many trips to the West to gather source material for his works that were finished in his New York studio. He lived on a ranch in Colorado for a while, later he went southwest to paint Native Americans Indians. In 1920, he moved to Alhambra, California where he shared a studio with Clyde Forsythe. At this point, Frank Tenney Johnson's easel oil paintings became more popular than his illustrations so he concentrated in this medium. Together with Forsythe, they started the Biltmore Art Gallery at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
Between 1931 and 1939, he spent much of his time at his art studio in Cody, Wyoming, outside Yellowstone National Park, but went into the park to make sketches for paintings that were later done in the studio. He popularized a style of painting Cowboys using knives, fingers, and brushes which became known as Johnson Moonlight Technique. Somewhere on the Range is an example of this.
Art Movement: American Western Art
Artists Influencing Frank Tenney Johnson: Richard Lorenz, John Henry Twachtman