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2008

History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology

South Dakota State University

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Documented Struggles And Triumph: African American Art, Holbrook Lauren Jan 2008

Documented Struggles And Triumph: African American Art, Holbrook Lauren

The Journal of Undergraduate Research

The emergence of African Americans as artists began in the Colonial Era with simple portraits. The first African American artist to gain recognition as a portraitist was Joshua Johnston who worked in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The majority of his portraits were of wealthy European American families, who were slave owners (Fig. 1). Johnston was formerly a slave, and as rumors suggests, his former owner was also a portraitist from which Johnston acquired his skills. Interestingly, Johnston did not sign or date any of his works (Lewis 15). It seems as though a suggestion to his name ...