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John Wilson (American, 1922–2015)


Sheet: 71.5 x 57.2 cm (28 1/8 x 22 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

India ink on paper, mounted on laminated paper board

On View

Mary Stamas Gallery (Gallery 153)


Americas, Prints and Drawings



Boston artist John Wilson was born in Roxbury in 1922. He enrolled at the Museum School in 1939, and continued his studies in Paris from 1947–49. The following year he went to Mexico, where he spent six years making prints with the Taller de Gráfica Popular, an experience that solidified his life-long commitment to addressing social justice in his art. He taught at Boston University from 1965–86. The twenty-four-year-old Wilson made this confident self-portrait shortly before he moved to Paris. To the right, a window frames a narrow view of sky and city rooftops. A drawing of a woman and child is pinned to the wall at the left.


Recto, scratched, l.r: John Wilson 1946


1946, the artist; gift to Florence and Samuel Casleman, Wellesley Hills, MA; gift to their daughter, Ann Lee (Castleman) Schreiber, Waltham, MA; consigned to Martha Richardson Fine Art, Boston, MA; 2010, sold by Martha Richardson Fine Art to the MFA, Boston. (Accession Date: April 14, 2010)

Credit Line

Emily L. Ainsley Fund


Art © John Wilson/Licensed by VAGA, New York , NY