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Home > Artist Database > Bio-bibliographic Database > JOHNSON, Pauline (Takehionwake)

Artist Database

JOHNSON, Pauline (Takehionwake)

Born
Six Nations Reserve, Ontario, 1861
Died
Vancouver, British Columbia, 1913
Biography synopsis
First Nations poet and performance artist Emily Pauline Johnson was born on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. Her father, George Henry Martin Johnson (1816-1884), was a Mohawk chief, and her mother, Emily Susanna Howells Johnson (1824-1898), was English. Johnson's Mohawk name, Takehionwake ('double-wampum'), was originally her great grandfather's name. Primarily educated at home by tutors and her mother, she became famous for her poetry and theatre performances, coming to define late 19th century Canadian literature and inspire contemporary performance artists. In the 1880s, Johnson began to perform many of her pieces with the Brant Amateurs theatre group and the Hamilton Dramatic Society, donning Native American costumes to highlight her Mohawk background. Her career as a performance artist, centered around the spoken word, officially launched after her recital at the Toronto Canadian Literature Evening in 1892, when she was 30. These shows were often described as exotic and highly dramatic spectacles in which Johnson would sing and gesture as she performed her poetry and comic skits. Many of Johnson's humorous and controversial skits challenged mainstream politics, organized religion, colonial attitudes and the dominant culture of her time. Johnson emphasized her gender and mixed ethnicity through her stage persona, changing from Native dress to evening gown midway through a performance. In 1894, she traveled to England, where she had already achieved great popularity. After Johnson met with British Columbia First Nations Chiefs in England in 1906, they petitioned King Edward VII on behalf of Canada's First Nations. In 1913, Johnson passed away after succumbing to breast cancer, with which she had been diagnosed four years earlier. Her famous buckskin costume can be found in the Museum of Vancouver. For the purposes of this database, the bibliography will focus mainly on the performance aspect of Johnson's work.
Media used
Performance art
File & Archive locations
Esplanade Archives, AB
Royal Ontario Museum
Brant County Museum and Archives, ON
British Columbia Archives
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Glenbow Archives, AB - Main Catalogue
McMaster University, ON - Mills Memorial Library
Simon Fraser University, BC - Special Collections and Rare Books
Trent University Archives, ON
University of British Columbia - Rare Books and Special Collections
White Rock Museum and Archives, BC
City of Vancouver Archives, BC
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
York University, ON - Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
Aspects of Commonwealth Literature, Volume 3. London, England: University of London, 1993.
British Journal of Canadian Studies 12.2 (1997): 298.
Montreal Life 9.12 (1 Dec. 1899): 25.
"43 Years after Death: Pauline Johnson's Will Published in Vancouver." Globe and Mail 17 Dec. 1956: 15.
"A Bystander at the Office Window." Globe and Mail 18 Oct. 1924: 5.
"A Canadian-Indian Recital." Pall Mall Gazette 18 Jul. 1906.
"A Page of Personals." Globe and Mail 8 Jun. 1895: 9.
"An Iroquois Lady Entertainer." Westminster Gazette 19 Aug. 1906.
"Association Hall. Friday Even'g, Feb. 19: Recital by Miss E. Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail 13 Feb. 1892: 15.
"Brantford Briefs." Globe and Mail 7 Dec. 1894: 8.
"Fine Entertainment." Saginaw Courier-Herald 11 Oct. 1896.
"From Wigwam to Concert Platform." Daily Mirror 1906.
"Local Briefs." Globe and Mail 10 Oct. 1893: 8.
"Miss E. Pauline Johnson and Mr. Owen Smily." Globe and Mail 12 Dec. 1892: 9.
"Miss E. Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail 23 Sept. 1893: 2.
"Miss Johnson's Relics for Brantford Museum." Globe and Mail 12 May 1913: 7.
"Miss Pauline Johnson's Recital." An Illustrated Weekly for All Interested in the Dominion 21 Jul. 1906.
"Music and Drama." Globe and Mail (18 Oct. 1893): 8.
"Music and Drama." Globe and Mail (26 Dec. 1892): 8.
"Music and Drama." Winnipeg Free Press (Dec. 1897).
"Music and the Drama." Globe and Mail (17 Sept. 1894): 8.
"Music and the Drama." Globe and Mail (1 Nov. 1893): 8.
"Music and the Drama." Globe and Mail (28 Apr. 1897): 12.
"Music and the Drama." Globe and Mail (19 Nov. 1895): 2.
"Music and the Drama." Globe and Mail (6 Jun. 1895): 7.
"New Vancouver Opera Focuses on Poet Pauline Johnson." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) (11 Mar. 2008).
"Pauline Johnson Biography." YourDictionary.com: The Last Word in Words 2010
http://biography.yourdictionary.com/pauline-johnson.
"Pauline Johnson Dead; Famous Indian Poetess." Globe and Mail (8 Mar. 1913): 1, 4.
"Pauline Johnson's Birthplace Bequeathed to Indians." Globe and Mail (19 Mar. 1938): 4.
"Pauline Johnson, Poet by Her Stage Partner." Globe and Mail (14 Feb. 1948): 19.
"Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail (21 Mar. 1931): 20.
"Pauline Johnson." Maclean's 113.36 (9 Mar. 2000): 38.
"Personal." Globe and Mail (19 Sept. 1896): 16.
"Pow-Wow for Red Indian Poetess: Tributes to Pauline Johnson." The Times (24 Mar. 1961): 11.
"Relics of Indian Poet Offered to Brantford: Sister of E. Pauline Johnson Will Make Presentation to Historical Society." Globe and Mail (16 May 1924): 3.
"Saturday's 'Pop' Drew Largest Crowd of Series: A Delightful Programme Was Presented by Pauline Johnson, the Indian Reader, and Mr. Walter McRay." Evening Examiner (12 Mar. 1906).
"Suggest a Memorial to Indian Poetess." Globe and Mail (18 Feb. 1919): 7.
"The Duke's Regret: Message to Indian Chiefs on Death of Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail (11 Mar. 1913): 2.
"The Perils of Pauline Arts History." Globe & Mail (2 Sept. 1995): C1.
"The Stamp Club: Issue to Mark Birth of E. Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail (25 Feb. 1961): 22.
"Yesterday's Concert: 'Tekahionwake'." Morning Post (17 Jul. 1906).
Aigner-Varoz, Erika E. Suiting Herself: E. Pauline Johnson's Constructions of Indian Identity and Self. New Mexico: University of New Mexico, 2001.
Atwood, Margaret. Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1995.
Bataille, Gretchen. Native American Women : A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Routledge, 2001.
Berton, Pierre. Marching As to War: Canada's Turbulent Years 1899-1953. Canada: Anchor Canada, 2001.
Boutilier, Alicia & Tobi Bruce. The Artist Herself : Self-portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists / L'artiste elle-même : autoportraits de femmes artistes au Canada. Kingston, ONT.: Agnes Etherinton Art Centre. Hamilton: Art Gallery Hamilton, 2015.
Bradley, Jennie. "The Johnson-Smily Combination." Globe and Mail (7 Nov. 1894): 8.
Brunton, John. "Social Notes." Globe and Mail (8 Jun. 1963): 17.
Carpenter, Cari M. "A Woman Let Alone: E. Pauline Johnson and the Performance of Anger." Seeing Red: Anger, Sentimentality, and American Indians. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2008.
Collett, Anne. "Pauline Johnson - Tekahionwake: Trafficking Woman." Victorian Traffic: Identity, Exchange, Performance. England: Cambridge Scholars, (2008): 143-162.
Collett, Anne. "Red and White: Miss E. Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake and the Other Woman." Women's Writing 8.3 (2001): 359-373.
Converse, Cathy. Mainstays: Women Who Shaped B.C.. Markham: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2000.
Dale, Leigh & Gilbert, Helen eds. Economies of Representation, 1790-2000: Colonialism and Commerce. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2007.
Däwes, Birgit. Native North American Theater in a Global Age: Sites of Identity Construction and Transdifference. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitatsverlag, 2007.
English, John, ed. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Ottawa: Libraries and Archives Canada, 2008
http://www.biographi.ca/.
Enns, Florence Ida. Photographing Pauline Johnson: Publicity Portraits of a Canadian 'Half Blood' Identity. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta, 2004.
Everett-Green, Robert. "Atwood Libretto Gets Sneak Peek Online." Globe & Mail (12 Sept. 2009): R5.
Fetherling, George. "The Delicate Art of Biography: Farley Mowat Asked to See the Manuscript of His Bio, While Pauline Johnson Left Few Letters and No Film." Vancouver Sun (2 Nov. 2002): E20.
Fiamengo, Janice. The Woman's Page: Journalism and Rhetoric in Early Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.
Forster, Merna. 100 Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2004.
Foster, Annie H. The Mohawk Princess: Being Some Account of the Life of Tekahion-Wake (E. Pauline Johnson). Vancouver: Lion's Gate Publishing Company, 1931.
Fournel, Kelly. Native Women of Courage. Summertown, Tennessee: 7th Generation, 2007.
Francis, Daniel. The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1992.
Franklin, Stephen. The Heroes: A Saga of Canadian Inspiration. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967.
Gray, Charlotte. Flint & Feather: The Life and Times of E. Pauline Johnson, Tekahionwake. Toronto: Harper Flamingo Canada, 2002.
Hallowell, Gerald. The Oxford Companion to Canadian History. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Higginson, Catherine. "Shelly Niro, Haudenosaunee Nationalism, and the Continued Contestation of the Bryant Monument." Essays on Canadian Writing 80 (Fall 2003): 141-186.
Hoxie, Frederick E. Encyclopedia of North American Indians. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996.
Hulan, Shelley. "This Is Not a Biography: Pauline Johnson and the Process of National Identity." University of Western Ontario 2010
http://www.uwo.ca/english/canadianpoetry/cpjrn/vol48/hulan.htm.
Johnston, Sheila. Buckskin & Broadcloth: A Celebration of E. Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake, 1861-1913. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008.
Keller, Betty. Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1981.
Keller, Betty. "On Tour With Pauline Johnson." Beaver 66.6 (Dec. 1986):19-25.
Leighton, Mary Elizabeth. "Performing Pauline Johnson: Representations of 'the Indian Poetess' in the Periodical Press, 1892-95." Essays on Canadian Writing 65 (Fall 1998): 141-164.
M.O.H. "Colorful Life of Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail (23 Jan. 1932): 12.
MacEwan, Grant. ...And Mighty Women Too: Stories of Notable Western Canadian Women. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie, 1975.
Maclean, John. Canadian Savage Folk: The Native Tribes of Canada. Toronto: W. Briggs, 1896.
Mair, Charles. "An Appreciation." The Moccasin Maker. Toronto: Briggs, (1913): 9-19.
Malinowski, Sharon & Abrams, George H. Notable Native Americans. Gale Research, 1995.
Margolis, Rebecca. "Jewish Immigrant Encounters With Canada's Native Peoples: Yiddish Writings on Tekahionwake." Journal of Canadian Studies 43.3 (Autumn 2009): 169-193.
Marsh, James, ed. Canadian Encyclopedia Online. Historical Foundation, 2009
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com.
McClung, Nellie. The Stream Runs Fast: My Own Story. Toronto: Allen, 1945.
McMaster University. "The Pauline Johnson Archive." McMaster University 1996
http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~pjohnson/mock.html.
McRaye, Walter. Pauline Johnson and Her Friends. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1947.
Milz, Sabine. "'Publica(c)tion': E. Pauline Johnson's Publishing Venues and Their Contemporary Significance." Studies in Canadian Literature 29.1 (2004): 127-145.
Morgan, Cecilia. "'A Wigwam to Westminster': Performing Mohawk Identity in Imperial Britain, 1890s-1990s." Gender & History 15.2 (Aug. 2003): 319-341.
Newman, Peter Charles. Canada - 1892. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1992.
Peterson, Nancy M. Walking in Two Worlds: Mixed-Blood Indian Women Seeking Their Path. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Press, 2006.
Prescott, Taryn. Walking Home Backwards: E. Pauline Johnson as a Victorian 'New Woman' in Her Lifestyle, Writing, and Advocacy. New Yoyk: University of Buffalo, 2009.
Quirk, Linda E. E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake): A Descriptive Bibliography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.
Raab, Josef & Butler, Martin eds. Hybrid Americas. London, England: Global Book Marketing, 2008.
Scott, Jack. "The Passionate Princess." Maclean's (1 Apr. 1952): 12-13, 54-55, 57.
Sexsmith, Pamela. "Johnson's Complexity Makes Her a Mystery Today." Windspeaker 20.9 (Jan. 2003): 27.
Sexsmith, Pamela. "Who Was the Real Pauline Johnson?" Windspeaker 20.9 (Jan. 2003): 23.
Smith, Hilda L. & Carroll, Berenice A. Women's Political & Social Thought: An Anthology. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2000.
Sonneborn, Liz. American Indian Lives: Performers. Facts on File, 1995.
Stafford, Jane & Williams, Mark. "Indian Mysteries and Comic Stunts: The Royal Tour and the Theatre of Empire." Journal of Commonwealth Literature 44.2 (2009): 87-105.
Stevenson, O.J. A People's Best. Toronto: Musson, 1927.
Strong-Boag, Veronica. "'A Red Girl's Reasoning': E. Pauline Johnson Constructs the New Nation." Painting the Maple: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Construction of Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1998.
Strong-Boag, Veronica. "No Longer Dull: The Feminist Renewal of Canadian History." Canadian Social Studies 32.2 (Winter 1998): 55-57.
Strong-Boag, Veronica & Gerson, Carole. Paddling Her Own Canoe: The Times and Texts of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
Van Steen, Marcus. "A Brief Biography." Pauline Johnson: Her Life and Work. Toronto: Musson Books, (1965): 1-43.
Watson, Patrick. The Canadians: Biographies of a Nation. Canada: McArthur & Company Publishing Ltd, 2000.
Whittaker, Herbert. "Play Adds Glamor to the Career of Pauline Johnson." Globe and Mail (21 Feb. 1975): 19.
Whittaker, Herbert. "Theatre: Nuts and Bolts: Fantasy for Sharper Tots." Globe and Mail (21 Mar. 1973): 14.
Yates, Elizabeth. "Poet Had Flare for Performance: Book Explores Continuing Appeal of 19th-Century Mohawk Writer Pauline Johnson." Telegram (20 Oct. 2002): B5.
York, Lorraine Mary. Literary Celebrity in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.

Writings by
Johnson, Pauline E. Canadian Born. Toronto: George N. Morang, 1903.
Johnson, Pauline E. Flint and Feather: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline JohnsonTekahionwake, 1861-1913. Toronto: Musson Books, 1931.
Johnson, Pauline E. Legends of Vancouver. Kingston, Ontario: Quarry Press, 1991.
Johnson, Pauline E. North American Indian Silver Craft. Vancouver: Subway Books, 2004.
Johnson, Pauline E. The White Wampum. London, England: John Lane, 1895.
Johnson, Pauline E. "The Lodge of the Law-Makers." Daily Express (14 Aug. 1906): 4.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 15, 1934) "Art Association Spring Show Opens. Private View Inaugurates Exhibition Containing Over Five Hundred Works."  Gazette (Montreal)  April 20, 1934.  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 15, 1934) Reynald.  "Le 51e salon de printemps. Morte-saison pour les nôtres."  La Presse (Montreal)  April 20, 1934.  p.29.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 15, 1934) René Chicoine.  "Le Salon du Printemps."  L'Ordre (Montreal)  April 28, 1934.  p.4.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Nearly 500 Works at Spring Exhibit. Variety in Show at Galleries of Art Association of Montreal. 1,080 Items Submitted. Judges Reveal Open Minds and 52nd Annual Contains Much to Meet Differing Tastes."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 22, 1935.  p.3.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Spring Exhibition of Art Association Opened on Thursday."  Montreal Star  March 22, 1935.  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Sculpture and Prints at the Art Gallery."  Montreal Star  April 11, 1935.  p.26.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition.: (Montreal, November 21, 1935) "The Fifty-Sixth Exhibition of the Canadian Academy."  Montreal Star  November 22, 1935.  p.13.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition.: (Montreal, November 21, 1935) "Art Gallery Scene of R.C.A. Exhibition. Paintings and Other Works from Various Canadian Points Total 444. Much Good Portraiture."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 23, 1935.  p.19.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition.: (Montreal, November 21, 1935) H. Poynter Bell.  "The Fifty-Sixth Annual Exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts."  Royal Architectural Institute of Canada  December 1935.  pp.195-198, 202.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, 1936) Fred H. Brigden.  "The Fifty-Seventh Annual Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts."  Royal Architectural Institute of Canada  December 1936.  13.12: pp.216-223.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 18, 1937) "Royal Canadian Academy Show is Opened at Art Association. Portraiture Represented by Good Examples and Landscapes as Usual Predominate."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 19, 1937.  p.12.   Full-text pdf

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