Frank H. Johnston

Frank H. Johnston (1888-1949) G7, A.R.C.A.

Frank (Franz) Johnston was born in Toronto in 1888. He studied in Germany from 1904 to 1907.  In 1910, he left for the United States where he studied art in Philadelphia and worked in commercial design in New York.

Credited as an original member of the Group of Seven, Johnston's association was brief. He did exhibit in the exhibition of 1920, but by 1921 he had left Toronto to become Principal at the Winnipeg School of Art.

In the earlier years of their friendship, Johnston had joined MacDonald and Harris on their journeys to Algoma. His paintings from those years express a strong decorative interpretation of the landscape. In later years, the artist's style became more realistic and revealed a strong fascination with the qualities of light. His landscape paintings became very full of images reflected on water. In 1927, Johnston changed his name to `Franz' Johnston.