Frances-Anne Johnston: Art and Life

Rebecca Basciano, Catharine Mastin, PhD

This publication is the first monograph on artist Frances-Anne Johnston and will serve to situate her career within 20th century Canadian art history and feminist theoretical contexts. It features beautiful colour illustrations and critical essays by curator Rebecca Basciano and scholar Catharine Mastin, PhD, and is a companion to the exhibition A Family Palette, which will be on view at the Ottawa Art Gallery in September 2022, followed by an Ontario tour through 2024. This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada, and the Ontario Society of Artists.

Through primary research, curator Rebecca Basciano interprets Johnston's mastery of technique and subject matter, while demonstrating the artist's unique aesthetic and skill through an exploration of several important artworks. Similarly, art historian and scholar Catharine Mastin, in her ongoing investigation of Canadian "artist couples," exposes the challenges faced by women artists - including Johnston - who often juggled their own artistic practices with the demands of child-rearing and supporting their husbands' careers.

Finally, as a critical aspect of this reclamation work, Frances-Anne Johnston's own voice is revealed in a republished article that she wrote in 1955 for Mayfair . Together, these insightful essays constitute a feminist recovery project by not only situating Johnston among her male contemporaries, but also by creating new space for the appreciation and validation of a practice that was shaped by domestic realities, including motherhood.

This book is a companion to the exhibition A Family Palette: Frances-Anne Johnston, Franz Johnston, and Franklin Arbuckle, on view at the Ottawa Art Gallery from September 10, 2022 to February 5, 2023, followed by an Ontario tour through 2024. This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada, and the Ontario Society of Artists.

Published Year: 2022
Additional Information:

120 pp., hardcover
Col. Ill; 20.5 x 25.5 cm
Bilingual, in English and in French

Cost: $55.00
This publication is available for purchase in the OAG shop.

PLEASE NOTE that the Ottawa Art Gallery and OAG Shop will close at 6 PM on Thursday, December 1st. The European Union Film Festival will continue as scheduled that evening.