Jed Johnson (designer)

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Jed Johnson
Jed Johnson (designer).jpg
Born(1948-12-30)December 30, 1948
Alexandria, Minnesota, United States
DiedJuly 17, 1996(1996-07-17) (aged 47)
OccupationFilm director, designer

Jed Johnson (December 30, 1948 – July 17, 1996) was an American interior designer and film director. Initially hired by Andy Warhol to sweep floors at The Factory, he subsequently moved in with Warhol, and was his lover for twelve years.[1][2] As a passenger in the first class cabin, he was killed when TWA Flight 800 came down shortly after takeoff in 1996.[3]

Early life[edit]

Johnson and his twin brother Jay were born in Alexandria, Minnesota on December 30, 1948. They were two of six children raised in Arizona and then California, where the family moved in search of employment.[4]

Warhol years[edit]

In 1967, Johnson and his brother Jay moved from Sacramento, California to New York City.[5] They found an apartment in the East Village, Manhattan through a heroin addict, got mugged and lost their last $200.[4] Two weeks later, Johnson delivered a telegram to the Decker building which was being renovated by Paul Morrissey before it became the new home of Andy Warhol's Factory.[6] Johnson accepted an on-the-spot job offer to sweep floors, but quickly moved into editing several films including L'Amour (1973), Andy Warhol's Dracula (1974), and eventually directing Andy Warhol's Bad (1977).

Johnson picked out a townhouse for Warhol on East 66th Street and designed its interiors.[7] He lived there with Warhol for a number of years.

In 1982, architect Alan Wanzenberg and Jed opened their own company named Johnson and Wanzenberg and collaborated to create and design the houses of celebrities.

Johnson was later a member of the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, formed the year before his death.[8]


Among other offshoot projects, Johnson designed the offices of Interview magazine. Through that work, he met Sandra and Peter Brant and worked with them on eleven projects.[7] He built on this career, eventually forming a partnership in both business and life with the architect Alan Wanzenberg, and taking on clients such as Mick Jagger and Richard Gere.[9]

He was named to the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame in 1996.[10]


On July 17, 1996, Johnson was a passenger on TWA Flight 800. He was killed along with 229 other passengers and crew members when the plane exploded off the coast of Long Island, New York.[11] He was 47.


  • Jay Johnson (author), with contributions by Paul Goldberger, Bob Colacello, Pierre Berge, and Sandra Brant. Jed Johnson: Opulent Restraint (New York: Rizzoli, November 2005).[12] ISBN 978-0-8478-2714-5
  • Alan Wanzenberg. Journey: The Life and Times of an American Architect (New York: The Pointed Leaf Press, 2013).


  1. ^ Victor, Bockris Warhol: The Biography, Da Capo Press, 2003, Introduction p2
  2. ^ Alexander, Paul (1994). Death and Disaster: The Rise of the Warhol Empire and the Race for Andy's Millions. Villard Books. p. 45. ISBN 0-679-43273-6.
  3. ^ EXPLOSION ABOARD T.W.A. FLIGHT 800: VICTIMS;Lives of Beauty and Business, Sports and Scholarship, Youth and Age
  4. ^ a b Hamilton, William L. (2005-11-10). "The Surviving Twin, Rearranging the Furniture". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  5. ^ Colacello, Bob (2014). Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up. Vintage Books. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-8041-6986-8.
  6. ^ Interview magazine article about Jed Johnson
  7. ^ a b Goldberger, Paul (July 25, 1996). "Jed Johnson: Grace interrupted". New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Shnayerson, Michael (2003). "Judging Andy". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
  9. ^ Kathryn H. Anthony (2001). Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession. University of Illinois Press. p. 73.
  10. ^ "Interior Design Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  11. ^ "The Numbers". The Advocate. Here Publishing (715): 14. 1996-09-03. ISSN 0001-8996.
  12. ^ Rizzoli book page Archived October 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]