Born in South Carolina, the 20th-century artist Johnson
is now recognized for his paintings of African American communities in Harlem and the rural South. His folk-inspired art developed over the course of his lifelong travels, first in Paris, where he was exposed to the techniques of Modernism, and then Denmark, where he made woodcuts in the style of
. In the 1940s, Johnson captured the jazzy spirit of Harlem society in paintings and prints of cafes, dancers, and street musicians. Nevertheless, his attachment to the South is evident in works like Homesteaders
, which depict black families and farm workers in vibrant colors and graphic forms.