Georgia, Jasper Johns spent his early life in
South Carolina, with his paternal grandparents after his parents' marriage failed. He then spent a year living with his mother in
Columbia, South Carolina, and thereafter he spent several years living with his aunt Gladys in
Lake Murray, South Carolina, twenty-two miles from Columbia. He completed Edmunds High School (now
Sumter High School) class of 1947 in
Sumter, South Carolina, where he once again lived with his mother.
 Recounting this period in his life, he once said, "In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in."
Johns studied a total of three semesters at the
University of South Carolina, from 1947 to 1948.
 He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the
Parsons School of Design in 1949.
 In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in
Japan, during the
In 1954, after returning to New York, Johns met
Robert Rauschenberg and they became long-term lovers. For a time they lived in the same building as
 In the same period he was strongly influenced by the
Merce Cunningham (a choreographer) and
John Cage (a composer).
 Working together they explored the contemporary art scene, and began developing their ideas on art.
In 1958, gallery owner
Leo Castelli discovered Johns while visiting
 Castelli gave him his first solo show. It was here that
Alfred Barr, the founding director of New York's
Museum of Modern Art, purchased four works from this show.
 In 1963, Johns and Cage founded Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, now known as
Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York City.
Johns currently lives in
Sharon, Connecticut, and on the island of
 Until 2012, he lived in a rustic 1930s farmhouse with a glass-walled studio in
Stony Point, New York. He first began visiting Saint Martin in the late 1960s and bought the property there in 1972. The architect
Philip Johnson is the principal designer of his Saint Martin home, a long, white, rectangular structure divided into three distinct sections.