The lives of Johnson and his wife are chronicled here through portraits--Johnson from the ages of six to at least sixty-six and Ida from child to mother to matron. There is also an oversized image of a drawing room in what was likely the couple's first home at 426 South Broad Street. With paintings covering much of the walls, the photograph illustrates Johnson already acquiring art at a vigorous pace.
A local studio, Haesler, took most of the portraits of Johnson, who by then was sporting a bristling white moustache. The portrait taken by Annette Field, a photographer active in Switzerland in the early twentieth century, may be several years later than the previously assigned date of circa 1904. During processing, it was determined that the portrait dates closer to 1909. This date was based on the observation that Johnson appears older than he does in the Haesler photographs taken in 1907, and that he was in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1909. A letter dated that summer from Johnson to Bernard Berenson was written on stationery from a hotel in that Swiss town.
The portraits of Ida are contained in a photograph album that her second child, Edward Morrell, gave to his cousin, Mary de V. Powel Hodge, in 1909. Edward's cover letter to his cousin and an outline of his family lineage are also included. As noted on the front page of the album, the portraits are of "Ida Powel Johnson." An additional note to the same page, written in a different hand, identifies the sitter in the last four photographs as Mary, the recipient of the album. That may be incorrect as one of the portraits was reproduced in Winkelman's biography of Johnson and identified as his wife. The last portrait in the album also supports an assumption that the woman is Ida. It shows an elegantly dressed woman standing near an easel that supports a painting of a landscape--a pose well-suited for the wife of a renown collector of art. (The landscape could not be identified during processing.)
For additional images related to Johnson's life; namely, a family cradle, gravesite and residences, see the "Johnson" files included in the "1973-1992" subseries of the "Subjects" series.