Thomas Berger Johnson Paintings

The “heavy impasto” technique, as Johnson described it, is “the juxtaposition of color” achieved by using two separate colors of paint on the brush at one time.




The mind when subjected to a two color-pattern, shifts from one color…to the other creating a sense of color movement or a shimmering effect. The edges of…alternating bars of red and blue…give a sensory stimulus to the mind creating an image of purple. If we were to thoroughly mix the red and blue pigment the effect would still be purple, but without the movement or shimmer, as there would be no sensory interplay between the colors.

Tenements (Lincoln), oil, 1939



Tenements (Lincoln), oil, 1939



“O” Street Flag Shanty (Lincoln), oil, 1941

Smoke Drift (Burlington Roundhouse, Lincoln),  oil, 1949



Smoke Drift (Burlington Roundhouse, Lincoln), oil, 1949

Neighborhood Backyards (Lincoln),  oil. 1948



Neighborhood Backyards (Lincoln), oil. 1948

Shoppers (Lincoln),  oil, 1954



Shoppers (Lincoln), oil, 1954

Antelope Creek Bridge or Blue Rhapsody  (Lincoln), oil, 1949



Antelope Creek Bridge or Blue Rhapsody (Lincoln), oil, 1949

Blue River Dam No. 3 (Milford), oil, 1947



Blue River Dam No. 3 (Milford), oil, 1947

Giants in the Earth (Lincoln), oil, 1957



Giants in the Earth (Lincoln), oil, 1957

Pause for Refreshments (Clay County, Nebraska),  oil, 1957



Pause for Refreshments (Clay County, Nebraska), oil, 1957

Spring Thaw (rural Seward, Nebraska),  oil, 1948



Spring Thaw (rural Seward, Nebraska), oil, 1948

Noon Chores (central Nebraska),  oil, 1951



Noon Chores (central Nebraska), oil, 1951

Portrait of the Johnsons (Seward, Nebraska),  oil, 1952



Portrait of the Johnsons (Seward, Nebraska), oil, 1952

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About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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