Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, will explore the work of Joshua Johnson (c. 1763-1825/26), one of the nation's first professional African American portraitists in the context of the early Federal period. Johnson achieved a remarkable degree of success in his lifetime by painting affluent patrons in his native Baltimore. His subjects consisted of politicians, lawyers, doctors, clergymen, merchants, and sea captains. Given the artist's background and the era in which he lived, Johnson was impelled to overcome many racial and social hurdles in pursuing his profession, and the fact that we continue to study his work today is a testament to his perseverance.
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