Amon Carter print details

Jitterbugs II

William Henry Johnson (1901-1970)

Object Details

  • Date

    ca. 1941

  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Modified screenprint

  • Dimensions

    Image: 16 7/8 x 18 15/16 in.
    Sheet: 16 7/8 x 18 15/16 in.

  • Inscriptions


    c. in purple ink, on white label: FO-304 - (2) \ Jitterbugs II \ William H. Johnson

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Status undetermined

Object Description

Born in a segregated town in South Carolina, Johnson moved to Harlem in New York City at age 17, joining thousands of other African Americans in a mass migration out of the American South. An aspiring artist, he enrolled at the National Academy of Design, and in 1926 he moved to Europe. Traveling through France, Scandinavia, and North Africa, he developed parallel interests in European modernism and self-taught art, which he synthesized into his own unique style that melded figuration and abstraction.

In 1938 he returned to the United States, where he accepted a teaching position at the Harlem Community Art Center. There, he began to portray Harlem’s cultural life and its migrant community. One of several scenes of dancers by Johnson, Jitterbugs II portrays a young couple entwined mid-dance. Arm flung back, the woman rocks off her heels, leaning into her partner in a dramatic swoon.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Additional details

Location: Off view
See more by William Henry Johnson


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