Frank Hans Johnston (Frank Hans Johnston)

Frank Hans Johnston

Artist. He was one of the original members of the Group of Seven, a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933 that also included Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. He was born Francis Hans Johnston on June 19, 1888 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From 1904 to 1907 he studied art in Germany. He returned to Toronto and like many other Group members, he joined Grip Ltd. As a commercial artist. In 1910 he left Canada for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he studied art and worked in commercial design in New York City, New York. Although an original member of the Group, his association was brief. He showed his paintings with the Group in their first show at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in May 1920, but by 1921 he had left Toronto to become Principal at the Winnipeg School of Art where he held the largest show ever seen in Winnipeg before. In the earlier years of their friendship, he had joined MacDonald and Harris on their journeys to Algoma region of Ontario, Canada. His paintings from those years express a strong decorative interpretation of the landscape. In later years, his style became more realistic and revealed a strong fascination with images reflected on water and the qualities of light reflected from snow. His subjects ranged from the pastoral countryside of the Wyebridge area, northern Quebec, and the Northwest Territories. In 1924, he announced his official resignation from the Group, claiming that he had no disagreement with them, only that he wanted to go his own way with regards to exhibitions. After leaving the Group, he turned more to working for department store art galleries and held solo exhibitions, and his work found a considerable public following. In 1927 he changed his name to the more exotic title of `Franz’ Johnston. Unlike many Canadian artists, he was able to achieve considerable financial success in his own lifetime. He died in Toronto on July 19, 1949 at the age of 61. During his career he completed over 250 paintings. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Spouse:  Florence Myrtle Jane Jamieson Johnston (1889 – 1976)* *Calculated relationship


  • June, 19, 1888
  • Canada


  • July, 07, 1949
  • Canada


  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection Burial Grounds
  • Ontario
  • Canada

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