National Academy of Design announces publication of completed Eastman Johnson catalogue raisonné

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National Academy of Design announces publication of completed Eastman Johnson catalogue raisonné
Eastman Johnson, Self-Portrait, c. 1850, National Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia, John Davis Hatch Collection (1979.20.73).

NEW YORK, NY.- The National Academy of Design announced the publication of the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné: Drawings & Prints on April 5, the anniversary of the artist’s death. The addition of this section completes the catalogue raisonné of American artist Eastman Johnson, following the section dedicated to his paintings that was first published online in July 2021.

The Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné (EJCR) is founded and directed by Dr. Patricia Hills, project managed by Abigael MacGibeny, and stewarded by the National Academy of Design. The catalogue is based on Dr. Hills’s decades-long research on Johnson’s artwork, dating to the 1972 monographic exhibition of his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Celebrating the artist’s substantial contributions to the development of American genre and portrait painting throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, this catalogue raisonné is a vast and intricate online resource designed to be a living archive.

“The National Academy of Design is honored to serve as the steward of the Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. In addition to being a catalogue of Johnson’s works, this extensive online resource has already generated essays and other critical work by contemporary scholars and historians, setting a new benchmark for what a catalogue raisonné can be. We are deeply appreciative of Dr. Patricia Hills and Abigael MacGibeny for their extraordinary work in bringing this to fruition," states Gregory Wessner, Executive Director of the National Academy of Design.

The EJCR website provides authoritative information on paintings, drawings, and prints by Eastman Johnson. According to Dr. Hills, "This range of information not only aids in the connoisseurship of Johnson's art, but provides a multifaceted lens for examining the history of American art and America itself." Johnson’s nearly 1,400 known paintings, drawings, and prints are organized thematically and catalogued with their titles, dates, media, dimensions, inscriptions, current owners, provenance, exhibition histories, and bibliographies. Many of the entries also feature quotes from historical sources, remarks by Dr. Hills and MacGibeny that provide insight into the works, and Dr. Hills’s examination notes and opinion letters. New with the launch of Drawings & Prints are approximately 400 catalogue entries for those works; brief biographies of Johnson's more than 300 portrait sitters, for both drawings and oil paintings; prints made by other artists after Johnson’s works during his lifetime; and an expanded chronology of Johnson’s life to acquaint visitors with his travels and artistic development.

The EJCR website is a free, open access resource for the public. Visitors can bookmark Johnson’s works, with catalogue information and images, for their future reference and use. Visitors can also bookmark collections, exhibitions, and literature, and refer to their saved materials on return visits to the site. The EJCR team is mindful that language of the past has perpetuated racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism. Catalogue entries containing historical titles of artworks and descriptions that use derogatory language are linked to an explanatory Racist Language/Negative Stereotypes Statement.

Johnson’s thematic areas of focus include early representations of the Ojibwe Nation in Minnesota Territory; the visual culture of the Civil War; images of Black and white people which did not reflect stereotypes of the time; the celebration of farmers and the agrarian communal ideal; images of the interiority of women; and the shift in style and content from an earlier moralizing genre painting to subject pictures with an emphasis on the spontaneous brushstroke. Eastman Johnson’s ties to the National Academy of Design are longstanding. He became an Academician in 1860 and participated actively in the Academy’s Annual Exhibitions throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. He filled several roles on the Academy’s governing body, the Council, from 1866 to 1890, and taught at the Academy’s school for the academic years of 1867 and 1868. The Academy is proud to become the long-term steward of the EJCR, managing future updates and keeping it available to the public in perpetuity.

The Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné can be accessed at The website was developed by panOpticon, whose specialized catalogue raisonné platform enables the digital collection and presentation of this rich content.

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