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“J” is for Johnston, Henrietta de Beaulieu Dering (ca. 1674-1729)

“J” is for Johnston, Henrietta de Beaulieu Dering (ca. 1674-1729). Portrait painter. A native of France, Johnston immigrated with her Huguenot parents to England. She married Sir Edward Dering and settled in Ireland. While there, she began to paint pastel portraits of local notables. After Dering’s death she married the Rev. Gideon Johnston, an Anglican clergyman. In 1708 the Johnstons arrive in Charleston. She continued her portraiture and painted local Huguenots and members of her husband’s congregation. In contrast to the deep earth tones and sophistication of her Irish pastels, her works in Charleston are lighter, simpler, and smaller, indicative of the preciousness of her materials. Her sitter’s posture is erect, with the head turned slightly toward the viewer. Pastels by Henrietta Dering Johnston are housed in private collections and museums in Ireland and the United States.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.