Johnston, John Taylor

Johnston, John Taylor

(1820–93) businessman, art collector; born in New York City. He studied in Edinburgh when young, graduated from New York University (1839), and studied law at Yale (1839–41). After travel abroad (c. 1843–45), he became a railroad executive and the founder of what was to become the New Jersey Central Railroad. He collected paintings (many of which were sold during financial reverses in 1876) and became the first president of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art (1870). He left some art to the Metropolitan and a considerable sum of money to New York University.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.