The Pennington School to host exhibition featuring the work of internationally acclaimed artist J. Seward Johnson II

Image: Seward Johnson, At the Edge of Night, 2018, acrylic on tray, 17.25 x 23 inches

Beginning January 17, 2023 and running through March 30, 2023, an exhibition titled “The Bond of Inspiration” featuring Seward Johnson’s Midnight Snack Art trays, alongside India Blake Johnson’s photography, will be presented in the Silva Gallery of Art on the campus of The Pennington School. A reception, open to the public, will be held from 6 to 8pm on Thursday, February 9, 2023. The exhibit is also open to the public by appointment beginning on January 17. Contact 609–737–4133 or email

In 2020, the world lost one of its most beloved and well-known artists, J. Seward Johnson II. A resident of Hopewell Valley and the son of Robert Wood Johnson, co-founder of Johnson & Johnson, Seward Johnson II was an artist who worked in many artistic disciplines and was regarded as an internationally renowned sculptor. He was a mentor to many local artists and the founder of Grounds For Sculpture and The Seward Johnson Atelier (TSJA) in Hamilton, NJ.

To celebrate the life of Seward Johnson II, The Pennington School will host the inaugural event of a year-long celebration of programs and activities throughout 2023 co-sponsored by The Seward Johnson Atelier and the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

The exhibition at The Pennington School, “The Bond of Inspiration,” is a father/daughter presentation that will feature Seward Johnson’s Midnight Snack Art trays, alongside India Blake Johnson’s photography.

Image: India Blake, Nantucket Moor Sunset, 2016, vibrachrome print on white aluminum, 20 x 30 inches

Prior to gaining recognition as a sculptor, Seward Johnson II was a painter who worked primarily on canvas with acrylics. As his career as a sculptor flourished, his painting projects subsided except for one unique format: painted trays. Johnson collected trays from antique shows to use as canvases for his homey, intimate scenes. The subjects are places of the heart and very personal.

In 2017, Seward’s passion for painting trays accelerated. Following an exhibition with his daughter, India Blake Johnson, in Rome, Johnson was so inspired by her work that he feverishly began to paint, exploring the inspiration of her lens and reimagining her photographs as a continuation of his Midnight Snack Art. At that time, Johnson expressed a deep desire to see his works exhibited together again with those of India, highlighting the bond between father and daughter as artists.

The Bond of Inspiration An Exhibition of Works by

India Blake Johnson and Seward Johnson JANUARY 17 through MARCH 30, 2023

Opening: Thursday, February 9 (snow date Friday, February 10) 6 – 8pm

Open to the public at exhibit opening times above and by appointment, Tuesday through Friday from 10:30am – 6pm. For appointments, call 609–737–4133 or email

The Pennington School is an independent coeducational school for students in grades 6 through 12, in both day and boarding programs. The curriculum is college preparatory, with an emphasis on individual excellence, fostering the development of the whole student through academics, athletics, community service, and the creative and performing arts.

Submitted by The Pennington School

If you rely on MercerMe for your local news, please support us.

To keep the news coming, we rely on support from subscribers and advertising partners. Hyperlocal, independent, and digital — MercerMe has been providing Hopewell Valley its news since 2013. Subscribe today.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.