At the age of 22 she left home to study at the Art Students" League with sculptors Gutzon Borglum and James Earle Fraser, and also attended Birge Harrison"s painting class in Woodstock.
Her early years were spent being home-schooled on a farm in Yonkers, New New York She began drawing when she was four years old, and when the family moved to a farm in 1900 she enjoyed sketching horses and other farm animals. Throughout her career she would sculpt animals from memory, as she was adamant that animals could not be sketched.
She would often attend circuses and farms for inspiration.
In fact, for many summers she followed traveling circuses to observe the animals. In 1909 Johnson and Dasburg went to Paris and joined the modernist circle of artists living there, including Morgan Russell, Jo Davidson, and Arthur Lee.
Johnson returned to the United States early the next year, but Dasburg stayed in Paris where he met Henri Matisse, Gertrude and Leo Stein, and became influenced by the paintings of Cézanne and Cubism. In 1914 Dasburg met Alfred Stieglitz and became part of his avant-garde circle.
Using what he had seen in Paris, Dasburg became one of the earliest American cubist artists, and also experimented with abstraction in his paintings.
By 1917 they had separated and Dasburg began teaching painting in Woodstock and in New York City. In 1918 he was invited to Taos, New Mexico by Mabel Dodge, where she was associated with Dodge"s artist colony. Returning in 1919, Johnson joined him there for a period of time.
Grace Mott Johnson lived in the Johnson family home in Yonkers, New York during the 1920s, moving to Pleasantville, New York in 1927.
In 1924 she went to Egypt to study ancient Egyptian sculpture. In 1929 she had a solo exhibition of her sculpture and drawings at the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico.
During the 1930s she became a civil rights activist. She had many friends in the arts community in Harlem and was an active representative of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She produced very little art during the last twenty years of her life.
He returned to Woodstock, New York in August and he and Johnson became active members of the artist community. Also in 1919, Dasburg was one of the founding members of the Woodstock Artists Association with John F. Carlson, Frank Swift Chase, Carl Eric Lindin, and Henry Lee McFee.