KEITH ALLEN JOHNSON
A Short Biography
Some have called him a modern-day Realistic Master. His wide range of creative, technical, and artistic talents have earned him national acclaim. His portrait and figurative sculptures display a remarkable gift of capturing the spirit and likeness of his subjects in heroic proportion.
Keith Allen Johnson is a realistic sculptor best known for his Presidential Collection of life-size portrait busts of seven American Presidents. Keith has been inspired by master sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) and Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) throughout his career. Saint-Gauden’s sculptures memorialized the leaders of his era - from Lincoln to author Robert Lewis Stevenson. His work captured the individual while conveying the hero's timeless, mythical quality. Daniel Chester French was a monumental sculptor who infused a neoclassical statuary tradition with penetrating new realism and lively animation; he created dramatic compositions in marble and bronze.
With the inspiration of these masters as his guiding force, Keith Allen Johnson is the only American sculptor in history to create an above-life-size collection of seven American Presidents. Keith’s Presidential sculptures display a perfect sense of the artist’s ability to capture his subjects' spirit and likeness in heroic proportion. His innate visual abilities guide him in the creative process as he seeks the highest and most compelling interpretation for his subjects.
In April of 1999, Johnson began the series of life-size Presidential sculptures. His first subject was the work of President Ronald Reagan. He has gone on to complete life-size portraits of George H.W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Bush. Patrons have heralded Johnson’s Presidential portraits as the most life-like portraits of the Presidents ever created. Both private and public collectors have well received his sculptural works. His sculpture of Ronald Reagan is part of the permanent collection at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. His sculpture of John F. Kennedy is part of the permanent collection at the J.F.K. Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Johnson’s earlier portrait works of N.B.A. Basketball legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan are part of the permanent collection at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. His sports sculptures have been displayed at the original Boston Garden, now the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and The New England Sports Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Johnson’s vision for his future work is bold and ambitious. His recent creations include a life-size portrait bust of Henry Morrison Flagler and the scale model of the Henry Morrison Flagler Monument. Boston University commissioned Keith to create a life-size statue of famed Boston University Terriers hockey coach Jack Kelley. The heroic Jack Kelley sculpture is on permanent display in the main lobby of the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts.
Keith recently created “The Museum Collection,” which includes three works inspired by ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. The first creation was a powerful sculpture entitled “Hercules The Mighty Warrior” with the famous Nemean lion headdress. The Hercules sculpture was inspired by the ancient, bearded Hercules at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. The second work was a heroic torso, "Perfection,” inspired by the famous Gaddi Torso, displayed in the Classical Sculpture Room of the Uffizi, Florence, Italy. The third sculpture in the collection entitled "Peace" was inspired by the Venus de Milo, one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Keith's next project was the creation of a life-size portrait bust of then-candidate Donald J. Trump. The Trump sculpture will now be added to “The Presidential Collection” as the seventh President. It is important to note that the original six US Presidents in the collection included three Democrats and three Republicans. Whatever your opinion of our past, former, and current President, my heart has always been to honor the Office of the President of the United States of America. The time for hate is over as we seek to unify the country for the greater good of all Americans. The Donald J. Trump sculpture was on permanent display at the Trump for President Headquarters in Atlanta and also traveled with the Trump campaign in the state of Florida.
Keith's most recent work is the heroic life-size Tom Brady, the G.O.A.T. sculpture. Inspired by the Pro Football Hall of Fame portrait busts, the Tom Brady sculpture captures the heart and grit of the seven-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer. With the Brady sculpture, Johnson's vision was to set the bar as high as possible for Bray's future Hall of Fame bust. In Johnson's words, "I'm raising the bar for Brady's Hall of Fame portrait bust. This is my first portrait, but I'm sure it won’t be my last".
Keith's work is a timeless art form that requires a keen sense of perception and a passion for details. Keith possesses these attributes in abundance. When you look into the faces of his portrait sculptures, you are immediately captivated by the vivid details, only to be struck again by the “living spirit” he remarkably captures.
Keith lives and works in Flowery Branch, Georgia, with his wife Tracy and daughters Ashley, Lindsay, and Mary Jo.