From 1990 to 1994, Freida Austin Johnson was the assistant director of the Experimental Gallery, an experimental space that focused on multicultural exhibitions in the arts, humanities, and physical and natural sciences in the Arts and Industries Building.
During her time at the Smithsonian, Johnson was the managing editor of The Prophet, the newsletter of the Smithsonian African American Association.
Johnson earned a degree from the University of Maryland, University College.
Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities, Experimental Gallery Records, 1983-1994, Acc. 94-082, Smithsonian Institution Archives