Thursday, June 2, 2011

Joshua Johnson - The Westwood Children

The Westwood Children (1807)  - Joshua Johnson (1863-1924)
USA 32c Stamp Issued 1998
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Johnson was born as a slave in America, being the son of a white man and a black slave woman.  He was granted freedom in 1782 and worked as a portrait painter for the remainder of his life, primarily working in the Maryland district.  Much of his life remained unknown up until the discovery of manuscripts in the 1990s that linked a number of his works together.

This stamp depicts one section of Johnson most known paintings, being the Westwood Children.  The Westwood family owned a successful stage coach manufacturing facility.  The real painting also includes the family dog, inexactly places to the bottom right of the frame, with an overall awkward composition.

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