Robert Johnson

William Robert Johnson (Robert Johnson)

 

William Robert Johnson 1855-1921, Father

Johanna Davidson 1859-1941, Mother

1890               born, Auckland, New Zealand

1910-14        Studied at the Elam school of Art, in Auckland (alongside A.F. Nicholl and E. Fristrom)

1915               enlisted in the New Zealand Trench Mortar Batteries

1916-1919    spent time in France to work and, when on leave, painted in England and Scotland

1920               married Olive Phillipson

1921                 arrived in Sydney

                        became a member of the RAS (later a council member)

1936               commissioned by the Commonwealth Government

                        Lived in Parramatta

1938               exhibited with the National Art Gallery of NSW

1945               exhibited with the Royal Art Society of NSW

1947               exhibited with the Royal Art Society of NSW

1948               exhibited with the Art Gallery of NSW

1951               exhibited with the Royal Art Society of NSW

1955-1956    visited central Australia and painted a series of pictures

1964               Died, Sydney

                       After death, memorial exhibition was held and included an introduction from the Prime Minister of Australia

William Robert Johnson, known as Robert Johnson and born 1890 in Auckland, to William Robert Johnson and Johanna Davidson, was well known for is Australian sea and landscapes. He studied at the Elam School of Art in Auckland from 1910-1914 and in 1915, during the First World War, he enlisted in the New Zealand armed forces, as a member of the New Zealand Trench and Mortar Batteries. After the war, he travelled to France to work and, when on leave, painted in England and Scotland. In 1921 he arrived in Sydney, with his wife, Olive Phillipson, who he married in 1920, and quickly became a member of the Royal Art Society. In the 1950’s he was elected as a council member of the Royal Art Society and served as joint vice president of the group. In 1955 and 1956 Johnson visited central Australia to paint a series of pictures. Johnson became recognised for his sea and landscapes of the Australian environment, notably his use of colour to capture the Australian atmosphere. Between 1938 and 1951 he exhibited his work with the Art Gallery of NSW and the Royal Art Society of NSW numerous times. Amongst his works and many commissions was one from the Commonwealth Government to paint a picture of Canberra, to present to the new art Gallery of Wellington, in New Zealand.  He died in 1964 in Sydney, and was cremated. After his death, his memorial exhibition catalogue included an introduction from the then Prime Minister, Robert Menzies.