Francis Hans Johnston (called Frank, and later Franz), painter (b at Toronto 19 June 1888; d there 9 July 1949).
Francis Hans Johnston (called Frank, and later Franz), painter (b at Toronto 19 June 1888; d there 9 July 1949). Among those who founded the Group of Seven in 1920, Frank Johnston was unusually well trained in academic practice, first at Toronto's Central Technical School with Gustav Hahn and at the then Central Ontario School of Art with William Cruikshank and with G.A. Reid. After a stint at Grip Ltd in 1908, he studied at Philadelphia and did commercial work in New York before returning to Toronto in 1915. In 1917-18 he was commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials to record the activities of Canadian flying personnel training for overseas duty. Johnston's landscapes reflect his knowledge of turn-of-the-century ideals, being more atmospheric than those of the Group. The difference in ideology and technique may partially explain why he participated only in the Group's first show (1920). Frank Johnston may have felt also that the adverse publicity generated by the show might affect his sales. He was principal of the Winnipeg School of Art (1922-24) and taught at the Ontario College of Art (1927-29).