Early Life, 1891–1910

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Raymond Jonson, the first of several children, is born Carl Raymond Johnson on his maternal grandparent’s farm in central Iowa.

Between 1891 and 1901, the Johnson family lives in many places throughout the Midwest and West. Two daughters are born in western Iowa, another in Minnesota. Two more sons are born in Wyoming and Kansas.

In 1899, the family spends a period of time near Colorado Springs, Colorado, likely Raymond Jonson’s first exposure to the rock formations and Native cultures of the Southwest.

By 1902, the family settles permanently in Portland, Oregon. Jonson’s father continues his calling as a Baptist circuit rider in Oregon and Washington, but the family no longer relocates to different communities every year.

Raymond Jonson enrolls at the first art school of the Portland Art Association; the art association later becomes the Portland Art Museum, while the school becomes the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Jonson begins his studies in art, learning to draw and working with plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculptures. Among his teachers are Anna Belle Crocker, Henry Frederick Wentz and Kate Cameron Simmons. . Note the unattributed photographs of Jonson’s class ticket and also images of him with his classmates and teachers.  The adults in these images are likely Crocker, Wentz, and Simmons.