Johnson, David, 1928-2013

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Individual

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Johnson, David, 1928-2013

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Description area

Dates of existence

1918-2013

History

David Johnson was born in England in 1928, and attended public schools near London. Despite an interest in art, he attended Loughbourough College from 1946-1948 and became a teacher. However, in 1950 he began night and Sunday classes at a local art school, and in 1952 won a four year scholarship to the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting. Completing his degree in 1956, he continued to study as a graduate scholar at Byam Shaw until 1957. It was also during this time that he studied classical draughtsmanship and stained glass. Johnson spent six years as studio assistant to renowned English mural artist Brian Thomas, doing work on windows at Westminster Abbey, the chapel of the Order of the British Empire and the American Memorial Chapel at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Johnson immigrated to Ontario, Canada in 1973 with his wife and six children. He worked first for Encyclopaedia Britannica (Manitoba-Saskatchewan region), but in 1978 resumed working full-time as an artist. He started his company, David Johnson Studio, in 1979 (the company was incorporated in 1984). The family settled in Regina, Saskatchewan and Johnson designed his first Canadian windows in Wawota, Moose Jaw and Regina during 1979. He was elected a professional member of the Stained Glass Association of America, based on recommendations from clients and existing members, and continued to hold membership in the British Society of Master Glass Painters. His studio work focused on conservation, restoration and original stained glass pieces. The majority of the windows created were for churches throughout Saskatchewan and Ontario; however, Johnson created works in almost every other province in Canada. While the studio was in operation, Johnson was active in the art scene in Saskatchewan as a director of Neutral Ground Gallery (Regina), and as a director of Saskatchewan Architectural Heritage Society and Heritage Regina. He also worked as the arts editor for Grain, a publication for Saskatchewan writers and artists, contributed articles to the Commonwealth and was commissioned for several sculptures and portrait paintings.

In 1996, David Johnson and his wife Christine moved to Tyvan, Saskatchewan. Johnson was awarded the Municipal Heritage Award from the City of Regina in 1997 for his interior restoration work. He was also awarded with the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Heritage Architecture Excellence Award in 2007 in the Exterior Restoration category, and in 2010 in the Adaptive Reuse category . Johnson's commissioned works included portraits, sculptures, courtroom drawings for television and stained glass in churches, hospitals, commercial sites and homes.

David Johnson died near Tyvan on December 14, 2013.

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Authority record identifier

PA 180

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Rules for Archival Description (RAD)

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Final

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Authority record created on 2008-05-02. Approved 2012-03-06. Last modified on 2017-11-29.

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Sources

AMICUS Authorities - no entry found.
Old guide GR 586.
Information from the donor.
Obituary published in The Leader-Post, December 21, 2013.
WORTH magazine (Summer 2010 edition, p. 6).

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