John Orne Johnson ("J.O.J.") Frost wanted to preserve the heritage of his beloved seaport town and its brave citizens. Unschooled in art, the self- proclaimed historian painted dozens of pictures and built a backyard museum to display his panoramic history of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Upon J.O.J.’s death, his son, Frank, donated the bulk of this collection to the local historical society; today roughly half of those paintings are at the Marblehead Museum. What happened to the rest?
To answer that question, Priscilla L. Moulton and Bethe Lee Moulton established Project J.O.J. Frost in 2014. Below are institutions that own Frost paintings, some of which are on view to the public; others require an appointment for a private viewing.
Don’t miss the opening and dedication of the J.O.J. Frost Gallery and Carolyn Lynch Education Center, including a special exhibit of Frost paintings, never seen together since his death.
The largest collection of paintings by J.O.J. Frost is on permanent display in the J.O.J. Frost Gallery of the Marblehead Museum in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Established in 1998, the gallery has been completely redesigned to immerse visitors in the work of this unique artist. The gallery will reopen in mid May 2017. A companion exhibit, loaned by museums and private collectors, will briefly reunites images scattered since Frost’s death.
Abbot Hall is the seat of government for the Town of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Frost's painting, The Purchase of Marblehead, also known as "The Deed Painting" was given to the town as a gift from an anonymous Marblehead family and hangs in the Selectmen's Room, near the original deed of the town. Visitors can also view The Spirit of '76 by Archibald M. Willard and other interesting historical treasures.
Fenimore Art Museum
The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, has two of Frost's historical paintings in its collection. One of the two is usually on public exhibition.
Peaches Point, Marblehead
Colonel Glover’s Fishermen Leaving Marblehead for Cambridge, 1775
The Phillips House of Historic New England is a Federal-style mansion on Chestnut Street in Salem, Massachusetts. During a tour of the only Chestnut Street mansion open to the public, one can see Frost's painting, The Hardships and Sacrifice, Massey’s Cove, Salem, 1626.
The Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, has several Frost paintings in its collection. The largest one may be on display for public viewing (see *).
*Indian Encampment at Marblehead
Geese Flying over a Wild Sea with American Sailing Ships
Seascape with Whales
Molly Waldo! is a work of historical fiction that was inspired by and features many paintings of J.O.J. Frost that are in the collection of the Marblehead Museum.