Arthur Johnson Papers, 1887-1980, (bulk 1930-1970).


Arthur Johnson Papers, 1887-1980, (bulk 1930-1970).

This collection documents the personal and professional life of Arthur Harold Johnson. Professional materials include music programs, press, photographs, and resumes related to Johnson's thirty year career as a singer and his wife May Van Dyke's career as a pianist and composer. In relation to Johnson's career as a writer, the collection includes published and unpublished poems, short stories and novels, as well as letters to editors regarding possible publication. Finally, Johnson worked as the curator for the Jonson Gallery beginning in 1965. The collection contains business correspondence, working notes on improvements for the gallery and press on the gallery. The majority of the personal items are correspondence, a scrapbook, and a few photographs. The collection has significant holdings on modernist painter Raymond Jonson and the Jonson Gallery. Additionally, researchers will find useful material in the collection on homosexuality. The collection is divided into four series: Correspondence (1913-1980): This series contains personal and business correspondence. It is chronologically organized. The personal correspondence includes letters to family, friends and Johnson's wife. Also of note are Johnson's 'letters to the editor' primarily to the Albuquerque Journal, The Oregonian and the New Mexico Daily Lobo on a variety of liberal issues such as civil rights, labor laws and gay rights. His political views are reflective of the social and political climate of the 1960s in American culture and society. The business correspondence pertains mainly to the Jonson Gallery and the art of Raymond Jonson. There are also letters related to Johnson's literary works. Homosexuality (1921-1977): This series contains material related to homosexuality and demonstrates Arthur Johnson's underground gay life. It includes correspondence with male lovers and exchange of newspaper articles from the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle relating to the treatment of homosexuals in society such as violence against homosexuals, gay marriage, gay pride, and gays in politics. Also included are Johnson's penmanship of gay pulp fiction, unpublished short stories and novels that include references to male homosexuality. These unpublished stories and novels provide valuable insight into mid-20th century gay culture and Arthur Johnson's views on homosexuality. Writings (1916-1975): Arthur Johnson's writings are organized thematically the major categories being: novels (unpublished), poetry (published and unpublished) and unpublished writing. Johnson wrote a novel titled the "Chronicles of Hammersbo." The novel demonstrates the influence of his Swedish heritage and religious upbringing. Other writings of significant note are a biographical essay on his brother, Raymond Jonson and poems and sonnets of New Mexico. Johnson maintained a list of his published poems such as "Nostalgia" in Frontier of March 1932, "Northern Death" in Voices of October 1927 and "From Northern Woods" in The Poet's Scroll, September, 1927. Photos, Albums and Ephemera (1887- 1968): This series contains a photo album highlighting Arthur Johnson's leading roles in light operas, family photographs, a scrapbook, which consists of correspondence and travel information, Johnson's professional memberships, Johnson's parents' marriage certificate and May Van Dyke's birth and death certificate.

4 boxes (3.5 cu. ft.)




SNAC Resource ID: 7903065

University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Related Entities

There are 4 Entities related to this resource.

Jonson, Raymond, 1891-1982 (person)

Raymond Jonson (1891-1982) was an American modernist painter and teacher. As a young man (1912 to 1917) he was the lighting, stage set, costume and graphics designer for the Chicago Little Theatre, America's first experimental theater, and later founded the Transcendental Painting Group (1938). He organized the Modern Wing at the Museum of New Mexico and taught art classes at his Atalaya Art School and at the University of New Mexico, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1954. In 1950 he establishe...

Johnson, Arthur (Arthur Harold), 1898- (person)

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 d...

Jonson Gallery (corporateBody)

Van Dyke, May (person)