Sep 2, 2004
Jan 12, 2007

John R. Johnston with Painting

John R. Johnston with Painting

late 1850s

John R. Johnston

(American, 1820-1872)

Salted paper print from wet collodion negative

Image: 20 x 14.8 cm (7 7/8 x 5 13/16 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2002.39



This compelling self-portrait and the adjacent candid picture of his wife are the most significant and moving images in Johnston's personal photography album containing work by him and other distinguished photographers. For this appealing composition, he seated himself in a plainly appointed studio in front of one of his painted portraits placed on the floor. The position of the chair and his body add vitality to the image. Clearly a master of lighting, Johnson carefully controlled the natural illumination so that his face and hands were in brilliant contrast to his dark clothes and the dimly lit room. In this self-portrait, he successfully expressed both the sitter's strength of personality and character.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email