TPCAC | P.O. Box 863 | Troy, AL 36081 | (334) 670-2287

Holman Johnson

Downstairs Gallery: June 25 through July 26, 2014

Manuel Holman Johnson (1910-1990) was born on a farm in Dale County, Alabama in 1910. He married Ethel Jordan in 1935, while he was living in Troy working for Jitney Jungle, and she was a student at Troy State Teachers College (now Troy University.) Ethel had also grown up on a farm in Midland City, Alabama. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Holman tried to enlist, but was turned down at his first try due to dental problems. Holman and Ethel lived their entire lives in Troy and were important members of the community. Both being artist, they were interested in the cultural development of Troy.

As a ham radio hobbyist, Johnson was asked by the U.S. Government to teach radio at Troy State.  In 1944, Johnson was drafted into the U.S. Navy, where he became a photographer. Holman Johnson opened his photography business in Troy in 1946 and continued through 1990. He used his camera to document everyday life in the Troy area over the years and, by doing so, captured Pike County’s rapidly changing and disappearing agrarian society. Holman Johnson’s photographs chronicled much of the history of Pike County for nearly half a century.

The Johnson Center for the Arts was named the Holman and Ethel Johnson Center for the Arts by the Manuel and Mary Johnson Foundation in 2008.