Miss Arnrid Banniza Johnston
Died 8 July 1972
Active: 1914 - 1952
Country of birth: Sweden
Country of death: England
Sculptor, teacher, carver, illustrator, author
Born Uddevalla, Sweden. She was the daughter of Arthur Sannox Johnston (1863-1929), a corn and grain merchant and Lily Ann, who was Swedish. Arnrid studied at the Slade (c.1914-21) where her tutor was James Havard Thomas.
Johnston's most important work before 1931 was a three-sided group in Portland stone for Walden House, Pimlico, which depicted children playing with a base surrounded by animals. This was presented to the City of Westminster by the Duke of Westminster and took her four years to complete. Other reliefs included: Cats on a Chimney Cowl, Squirrels, Resting Horses, Milking and a Pastoral (this last in blue Belgian marble). Johnston's works in the round included a cow and a girl, a wooden cat and a St Francis in mahogany. Her sculpture was represented by 'In Pasture' (green serpentine) and a bird bath in the Garden Sculpture Exhibition which took place on the roof at Selfridge's Department Store in 1930.
From c.1930 Johnston designed posters for the Underground Group and London Transport and this led her into illustration. Between the early 1930s and early 1950s she wrote and/or illustrated more than twenty books. Many of these concerned animals which she meticulously researched. Amongst her better known titles were 'Animal Families', Country Life, 1939, 'Animals We Use', Methuen, 1948, and 'Fables From Aesop and Others', Transatlantic Arts, 1944. In later years her eyesight deteriorated which cut short her illustration work. In her obituary H.J. Blackham said 'her many friends found her robust generous personality as characterful as her animals.'
Information about her works drawn from Parkes (1931), p. 125. This record includes information submitted by Dr. Julia Kelly.
Wealth at death: £40,258 0s. 0d.
Probate date: 15 January 1973
Dates are usually the year a work was exhibited so may differ from date of production.
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Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at Leeds City Art Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, 1927
Exhibited at City of Manchester Art Gallery, Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, 1927
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition), 1768-
Once, one work (a drawing in pen and wash of 'Land Girls Milking' cat. no. 1161)
Institutional and Business Connections
Member of The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society
1938 (Presumed) - 1946 (Presumed)
Student at Slade School of Fine Art
1914 - 1921
Based on information in Parkes (1931), p. 125
Personal and Professional Connections
Studied under James Havard Thomas
[At the Slade School of Art]
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society: Members and Craftsmen
Catalogue of the Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists
Cat. No. 386, pp. 36, 42
Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, Leeds City Art Gallery 1927
Cat. Nos. 338, 342, pp. 23, 27
Find a Will
Name: Johnston, Arnrid Banniza Death Date: 8 July 1972 Probate Date: 15 January 1973 Page: 4754
International Society press cuttings, from spring 1921
Obituary of J.Harvard Thomas, 'The Morning Post', May 1924.
The Art of Carved Sculpture: Western Europe, America and Japan
p. 87 and p. 125 (includes illustration)
The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
"Arnrid Johnston." Times [London, England] 13 July 1972: 18. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
Citing this record
'Miss Arnrid Banniza Johnston', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib2_1207091620, accessed 30 Apr 2017]