Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston

Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston - Heffel Gallery

Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston

1888 - 1949
ARCA CSPWC G7 OSA

Frank Johnston was born in 1888 in Toronto, and studied at the Ontario College of Art under William Cruikshank and G.A. Reid. In 1911, he began working at the commercial art firm Grip Ltd. in Toronto, which proved to be an influential meeting place for the future of Canadian art, as the firm employed five of the seven artists who would form the iconic Group of Seven - Johnston, J.E.H. Macdonald, Frederick Varley, Arthur Lismer and Franklin Carmichael. Although in close contact with his colleagues, Johnston strongly remained an individual, a trait that he would exhibit throughout his career.

Beginning in 1912, Johnston spent three years in the United States, studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and working at Carleton Studios in New York before returning to Toronto in 1915. In 1918, Johnston was commissioned to document the Royal Flying Corps at their training camps in Ontario, as part of the Canadian War Memorials during World War I. In fall of that same year, Johnston joined fellow Group members Lawren Harris and Macdonald in the first boxcar expedition up the Algoma Central Railway in northern Ontario. He joined Group members on two more Algoma sketching trips in 1919 and 1920. The Group of Seven held their first official show in 1920 at The Art Gallery of Toronto, now the Art Gallery of Ontario. At this pivotal exhibition, Johnston exhibited and sold more paintings than any other Group member.

In December of 1920, Johnston held an independent exhibition at The Fine Art Galleries, T. Eaton Co. Ltd. in Toronto. In 1921, he moved to Manitoba to accept the position of Principal of the Winnipeg School of Art and began a gradual departure from the Group, and transformed his style to a more realistic one. Johnston returned to Toronto in 1924 to teach at the Ontario College of Art, and then officially resigned from the Group. Johnston claimed there were no problems between him and the other members, but that he simply preferred to follow his own path. During this process, he changed his first name to Franz. As well as painting in oil, Johnston was known for his accomplished use of the medium of tempera. His work proved to be popular with the public, and at a time when many Canadian artists stuggled to support themselves through their art, Johnston attained substantial financial success.

Johnston developed larger narrative paintings in the 1930s and 1940s, in addition to his more intimate examinations of landscape. During this time his subjects ranged from the pastoral countryside of Ontario to northern Quebec and the Northwest Territories. Johnston continued to paint until passing away on July 9, 1949 in Toronto.

Heffel 's Top Results
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Autumn Tangle
24 1/8 x 20 1/8in 61.3 x 51.1cm
circa 1921
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $30,000 - $50,000 CDN
Sold for:   $292,500 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2010 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 25, 2010
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Midsummer - A Northern Lake
40 1/4 x 32 1/4in 102.2 x 81.9cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $90,000 - $120,000 CDN
Sold for:   $172,500 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Spring 2003 auction on Thursday, May 15, 2003
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Snowed In
30 x 40in 76.2 x 101.6cm
tempera on board

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $128,700 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2012 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 22, 2012
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Six O'Clock
10 1/2 x 13 1/2in 26.7 x 34.3cm
circa 1923
oil on board

Estimate:  $20,000 - $30,000 CDN
Sold for:   $100,300 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's May 2014 - 4th Session auction on Saturday, May 31, 2014
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Making a Trail to the Woods
30 x 40in 76.2 x 101.6cm
tempera on paper board

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $100,300 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2015 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 26, 2015
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Autumn - Algoma
24 3/4 x 20 7/8in 62.9 x 53cm
tempera on board

Estimate:  $50,000 - $70,000 CDN
Sold for:   $94,400 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Spring 2015 - 2nd Session auction on Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Golden Morning in March
30 x 36in 76.2 x 91.4cm
oil on board

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $93,600 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2012 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 22, 2012
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Indian at Night
37 7/8 x 30in 96.2 x 76.2cm
tempera on artist's board on masonite

Estimate:  $50,000 - $70,000 CDN
Sold for:   $93,600 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fall 2010 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, November 25, 2010
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Snowed In
30 x 40in 76.2 x 101.6cm
tempera on board

Estimate:  $50,000 - $60,000 CDN
Sold for:   $92,000 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Fall 2006 auction on Friday, November 24, 2006
Record Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston sale - Heffel Gallery - Buy and Sell art   Frank Hans (Franz) Johnston
Sunlit Trees in Winter
30 1/2 x 40 1/4in 77.5 x 102.2cm
circa 1930
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $30,000 - $40,000 CDN
Sold for:   $92,000 CDN (premium included)

At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Fall 2006 auction on Friday, November 24, 2006
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