Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné
Patricia Hills, PhD, Founder and Director | Abigael MacGibeny, MA, Project Manager

Chronology

The following chronology lists significant moments in Eastman Johnson's life and work.

1824

Born Jonathan Eastman Johnson in Lovell, Maine, the third of eight children of Philip C. Johnson and Mary Chandler Johnson.

1827–28        

Moved to Fryeburg, Maine, with his family.

1834–35        

Moved in the winter to Augusta, Maine, where his father held various positions in the state government.

1839–44        

Worked for a time as a clerk in a dry goods store, spent some time in a lithography shop in Boston, and commenced a career as a portrait draftsman.

1844–45        

In the late winter or early spring moved to Washington, D.C., where he established a successful practice drawing notable Americans living there.

1846             

Moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the early fall, where he received commissions to draw the circle of friends surrounding Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Had studios in Amory Hall and then in Tremont Temple.

1849             

Mid-August sailed for Europe. In Düsseldorf by November, where he studied anatomical drawing at the Royal Academy.

1850             

By fall had completed two oil paintings which he sent to the American Art-Union for sale.

1851   

Moved into the Düsseldorf studio of the American painter Emanuel Leutze in January. In July traveled to London to see the International Exposition. In the late summer moved to the Hague.

1852–55        

Lived mostly at The Hague with trips to Scheveningen and Dongen and to Germany.

1855             

Moved to Paris in August, where he entered the studio of Thomas Couture. Sailed for the United States in October and went directly to Washington, D.C. Painted and drew portraits of his family and friends.

1856             

Visited his sister in Superior, Wisconsin, in the late summer.

1857             

Back in Washington, D.C., during the spring. By July had returned to Superior. 1857–58   Late winter and early spring established in Cincinnati painting portraits.

1858             

Moved to New York City in April, where he took a studio in the University Building. 1859 Elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design.

1860             

Elected a full Academician of the National Academy of Design.

1861–65   

Followed the Union Troops on several campaigns during the early years of the Civil War. Spent the late winter months in Fryeburg, Maine, sketching outdoor scenes of the maple sugar camps.

1862         

Joined the Century Club, New York City.

1868         

Joined the Union League Club, New York City. Taught the fall term at the National Academy of Design.

1869         

Taught the spring term at the National Academy of Design. Married Elizabeth Buckley of Troy, New York, on June 29. Vacationed in Murray Bay, Canada, during July.

1870       

Only daughter, Ethel, born in May. Took his family to Nantucket for the summer.

1871

Bought property on Nantucket. Summered there for the rest of his active life. Painted his first dated outdoor Nantucket scene.

1872

Moved into 65 West 55th Street, New York City, where he kept a winter studio.

1875–80

Painted studies for the cranberry picking scenes during the summer months. Visited his sister Harriet May and her family in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he painted a series of barn interiors with children in 1877 and 1878.

1881

Began to paint fewer genre scenes, more portraits.

1885

Vacationed in Europe. Painted Grover Cleveland as President of the United States.

1887

Painted his last dated genre painting.

1891

Vacationed in Europe.

1895

Painted President Benjamin Harrison.

1897

Vacationed in Europe.

1906

Died April 5 in New York City.