Title: Christian Petersen
Dimensions: 38" x 32" (96.5 x 81.2cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the Playmakers of Ames. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Johnson was commissioned by IOwa State to create several official portraits of campu faculty. He also became a close family friend of Charlotte and Christian Petersen. Johnson painted two portraits of Christian, with this one becoming the official Iowa State portrait and visually places Petersen in context of his studio and Iowa State.
Widely known for his white shirt and tie, Petersen is shown working with rolled up shirt sleeves as he sculpts the portrait bust of Martin Mortensen, who was the head of Dairy Science, and with whom petersen first worked at Iowa State when he sculpted the History of Dairying (1933-34) bas relief mural for the Dairy Industry Building. Also illustrated in teh background is the Library Girl (completed in 1944 after this painting was finished).