Mama Johnson was born June 21, 1921, in Tampa, Florida.
Mama Johnson gives God complete credit for her ability to “fix things up.” She recycles whatever she has on hand to make her unique figures. A face painted on a light bulb, topped by a hat cut out of some leftover window screen and stuck in the top of a plastic ketchup bottle, becomes one of her missionary dolls “going out to do some good.” Her creations are her company and she talks to them; preaching and cajoling. Sometimes she says they are ugly and calls them “aliens,” but then , “Aliens walk and talk just like us and some of them is nice just like some of us is nice.”
Mama Johnson’s wonderful sense of humor and lively spirit is evident in her art. Her work is in many prestigious collections and is included in the permanent collection of the Mennello Museum of Folk Art in Orlando, Florida.