Johnson, Arthur (Arthur Harold), 1898-

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Arthur Harold Johnson was a singer, novelist, poet and curator of the Jonson Gallery. Born on December 2, 1898, the son of Swedish immigrants, Reverend Gustav Johnson and Josephine Abrahamson Johnson, he was one of six children. His father's service to the Baptist church required the family to travel and relocate on a frequent basis until their permanent settlement in Portland, Oregon in 1902. Johnson attended Reed College, a liberal arts college in Portland, but dropped out after his father's death in 1919 to be with his mother. He eventually transferred to the University of Oregon (Eugene), graduating in 1923. While attending college, he participated in the Glee Club and sang in church choirs. Arthur Johnson made his concert debut as a lyric tenor in Portland, Oregon in November, 1925. He met May Van Dyke, a pianist and composer, and they worked together as concert artists. The two married on July 2, 1929. They continued to perform together in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Portland, and Albuquerque. In San Francisco, Johnson starred as the leading role in a series of light operas including, "The Chocolate Soldier," "The King's Henchman," "H.M.S. Pinafore," "Mikado," "The Bohemian Girl" and "The Barber of Seville." After thirty years in a music career, Johnson desisted from public singing in 1952 and took time off to travel with his wife, who suffered from ill health. Johnson also wrote novels, short stories and poetry in his spare time. While most of his writing remained unpublished, he succeeded in publishing some of his poetry. When his wife passed away on December 8, 1963, Johnson moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to assist his brother, Raymond Jonson, modernist painter and art professor at the University of New Mexico, with operations of the Jonson Gallery. The President of the University appointed Johnson to the position of curator of the gallery in 1965. Johnson died in October of 1980.

From the description of Arthur Johnson Papers, 1887-1980, (bulk 1930-1970). (University of New Mexico-Main Campus). WorldCat record id: 636735458

Raymond Jonson, Portrait of the Artist's Brother Arthur, 1929. Jonson Gallery Collection, UNM Art Museum. Photograph of the original in Box 3, Folder 23.

Arthur Harold Johnson was a singer, novelist, poet, brother of the New Mexico painter Raymond Jonson, and curator of the Jonson Gallery. Born on December 2, 1898, the son of Swedish immigrants, Reverend Gustav Johnson and Josephine Abrahamson Johnson, he was one of six children. His father’s service to the Baptist church required the family to travel and relocate on a frequent basis until their permanent settlement in Portland, Oregon in 1902. Johnson attended Reed College, a liberal arts college in Portland, but dropped out after his father’s death in 1919 to be with his mother. He eventually transferred to the University of Oregon (Eugene), graduating in 1923. While attending college, he participated in the Glee Club and sang in church choirs.

Arthur Johnson made his concert debut as a lyric tenor in Portland, Oregon in November, 1925. He met May Van Dyke, a pianist and composer, and they worked together as concert artists. The two married on July 2, 1929. They continued to perform together in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Portland, and Albuquerque. In San Francisco, Johnson starred as the leading role in a series of light operas including, “The Chocolate Soldier", “The King’s Henchman", “H.M.S. Pinafore", “Mikado", “The Bohemian Girl", and “The Barber of Seville". After thirty years in a music career, Johnson desisted from public singing in 1952 and took time off to travel with his wife, who suffered from ill health. Johnson also wrote novels, short stories and poetry in his spare time. While most of his writing remained unpublished, he succeeded in publishing some of his poetry. When his wife passed away on December 8, 1963, Johnson moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to assist his brother, Raymond Jonson, modernist painter and art professor at the University of New Mexico, with operations of the Jonson Gallery. The President of the University appointed Johnson to the position of curator of the gallery in 1965. Johnson died in October of 1980.

From the guide to the Arthur Johnson Papers, 1887-1980, 1930-1970, (University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Johnson, Arthur (Arthur Harold), b. 1898. Arthur Johnson Papers, 1887-1980, (bulk 1930-1970). University of New Mexico-Main Campus
creatorOf Arthur Johnson Papers, 1887-1980, 1930-1970 The University of New Mexico, University Libraries, Center for SouthwestResearch
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Homosexuality and literature corporateBody
associatedWith Jonson Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Jonson, Raymond, 1891-1982. person
associatedWith Van Dyke, May. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New Mexico
Subject
Homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality and literature
Pulp literature
Singers
Singers
Authors, American
American poetry
Art museum curators
Art museum curators
Art museums
Art museums
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1898

English,

Swedish

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SNAC ID: 67041919