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Portrait of Edward Aisquith

1810
Joshua Johnson, American (active Baltimore), born c. 1762
The earliest documented professional African American artist, Joshua Johnson (whose last name sometimes appears as Johnston) worked as a portrait painter in Baltimore, where he produced more than eighty known works between 1795 and 1825. He may have begun life as a slave, but Johnson was certainly a free man by 1795, when he advertised himself as a self-taught "genius" in the Baltimore Intelligencer. This is the first work by the artist to enter the Museum's collection....

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