The Walters Art Museum

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Return from Amnesia


Sunday, October 2, 2011


02:00 PM–03:30 PM

Lonni Sue Johnson is a successful artist, who suffered severe amnesia resulting from an attack of encephalitis in late 2007. The illness caused substantial brain damage, resulting in the complete loss of artistic productivity. Since then, her mother and fellow artist Margaret Kennard Johnson, has been helping her regain her drawing ability. This discussion describes the dramatic transformations in Lonni Sue Johnson’s art. By sharing her courageous story, cognitive scientist Mike McCloskey and Margaret Kennard Johnson reveal how art and science inform our understanding of memory and creativity.

About the Speakers

Michael McCloskey is the Professor of Cognitive Science & Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. With Barbara Landau and other colleagues, McCloskey is studying Lonni Sue Johnson's recovery from the illness that severely damaged her brain. 

Margaret Kennard Johnson is an artist speaking on behalf of the family. Johnson is a professional artist and teacher, and the mother of artist Lonni Sue Johnson, whose work is on exhibition at the Walters Art Museum this autumn. 

Gary Vikan, Director of the Walters Art Museum will moderate the discussion.

Free Fall Baltimore

This event is a Free Fall Baltimore event. Free Fall Baltimore is made possible by presenting sponsor Susquehanna Bank and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, The Abell Foundation, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, American Trading and Production Corporation (Atapco) and Baltimore Community Foundation.

Special thanks to Free Fall Baltimore media sponsors: The Baltimore Sun, The City Paper, The Urbanite, The Jewish Times, The AFRO-American Newspapers, Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, WJZ-TV, WBFF/Fox45-TV, CW/Baltimore-TV, WMAR-TV, WUTB-TV, WYPR Radio, WEAA Radio, Radio One: Magic 95.9; Spirit 1400; WOLB; 92Q, and CityPeek.