[Painting Class in a School Room]

Frances Benjamin Johnston American

Not on view

Born in West Virginia, Johnston studied drawing and painting at the Académie Julien in Paris before returning to America to take up photography. She excelled in architectural documentation, portraiture, and especially school scenes. This photograph, commissioned by the school system of Washington, D.C. school system, reveals her exceptional talent for orchestrating a classroom to articulate the values of measure, order, and incipient grace that a classical artist or schoolmarm might impose. The picture is blue because it was printed using a variation of the blueprint process that architects employed until recently to duplicate their line drawings.

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