Josephine V. Johnson

July 25, 1928 - Dec. 29, 2018
Josephine V. Johnson,  July 25, 1928 - Dec. 29, 2018

Josephine Valenti Johnson, an artist and art historian who lived in Springs during its Abstract Expressionist heyday, died at her Southampton home on Dec. 29. She was 90. 

Born on July 25, 1928, in Brooklyn to the former Rita Impastato and Mario Valenti, she graduated from Queens College and studied art history at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. 

It was while working at the Artists’ Gallery in New York that she met Lester Johnson, an Expressionist painter, whom she married in 1949. The couple lived in downtown Manhattan and spent summers in Provincetown, Mass., before building a house and studio in Springs in 1954. 

Ms. Johnson created bronze-cast sculptures and drawings, but for the most part held her artwork privately so that attention would be focused on her husband’s career.

The couple had lived in Milford and Greenwich, Conn., while Mr. Johnson, who died in 2010, was a professor of painting at Yale University, and they returned to their Springs house each summer. They moved to Southampton in 2006.

She is survived by a daughter, Lesley Lowery of Southampton, a son, Anthony Johnson of New York, a sister, Nadine Beauchamp of New York, and by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The Rev. Michael Vetrano, pastor of the Basilica Parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church in Southampton, officiated at a private burial on Saturday at the church’s cemetery.