Eastman Johnson (1824-1906)
The Bath, 1872
Oil on canvas; 22 x 26 in.

The son of a successful politician, Eastman Johnson was born in Lowell, Maine, in 1824.  At the time of the Civil War, Johnson began a series of genre scenes of life in the South.  The most famous painting in the series, Old Kentucky Home (1859), reveals the stark contrast of slave quarters with the plantations of the slave owners.  The painting won the artist election to the prestigious National Academy of Design.  Johnson used his skill as a genre painter to depict several military campaigns during the Civil War.  After the war, he painted colorful views of maple sugaring in Maine followed by moody landscapes of  Nantucket.  Also a successful portrait painter, Johnson was commissioned by Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison during their presidential terms.