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Prairie Visions: The Works of Leah Johnson
March 22 - May 14
Stauth Memorial Museum is honored to bring the works of one of Montezuma’s most talented former residents back home!
Here is your chance to view private collections of paintings by the late Montezuma resident, Leah Johnson. Leah Johnson was a self-taught painter from Montezuma who learned to paint to support her family after her husband passed away. She specialized in painting Western Kansas landscapes and the sod houses (or soddies) that dotted the area when she was a child. Leah created her own technique of mixing soils native to each homestead into her oil or acrylic paints to give each piece texture and a 3-dimensional appearance.
Her pieces gained popularity with people of this area, and with travelers passing through the area. She is known for painting canvases of homesteads, but each piece also contains her vivid interpretations of the Western Kansas sky. Johnson painted from memory, and considered herself a historian of sorts as she documented the places of her youth. She once said “As an artist, I feel more closely drawn to things of my childhood and earlier… In a sense, I’m cataloging history.”
The Stauth Museum is honored to present this exhibition of Leah Johnson’s works that showcase pieces throughout her career. The exhibit includes pieces owned by many people of the area, including her son Lynn Johnson of rural Copeland, and the Clawson family of Plains; who were avid collectors of Leah’s works. Stauth Memorial Museum is also displaying a barnyard-painted coffee pot from Geraldine Koehn’s collection and a soddy painting that was donated by the Shelden Family of Wichita.
The Sheldon family painting is on permanent display at the museum and is the anchor of what we hope to be a Leah Johnson Collection within the Stauth Museum. If you have a Leah Johnson piece that you would like to donate to grow our Leah Johnson Collection, please contact the museum at (620) 846-2527 or email@example.com.
We kindly ask that for groups of 5 or more, please schedule a tour to ensure adequate staffing and the best possible visit to the Museum. For more information or to schedule a tour call 620.846.2527. Business hours for the Stauth Memorial Museum are: Tue – Sat 9-12, 1-4:30. Closed Sundays, Mondays & all major holidays. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated to help with exhibit costs.