Frank Tenney Johnson established a name as a western artist early in his career, when he became an illustrator for world-famous author Zane Grey. In 1904 he lived, worked and sketched on a Colorado cattle ranch, learning to rope, brand and ride the roundup. Later he traveled and painted extensively in the Indian country of the Southwest. Johnson became especially well-known for his luminous night scenes, often showing cowboys and pioneers on the Santa Fe Trail under moonlight and stars. During the 1920s, Johnson’s California art studio was a gathering place for many successful painters, including Charles Russell, Norman Rockwell, Dean Cornwell, and Ed Borein. Collecting Johnson’s work became fashionable among many socialites and movie stars of the day. His work was shown at the prestigious Salmagundi Club and the National Academy in New York, and he won that institution’s coveted title of National Academician.