Manage episode 332203531 series 2885711
BlackFacts.com presents the black fact of the day for June 21.
Painter Henry Ossawa Tanner was born.
He was an American artist and the first African-American painter to gain international acclaim.
After a childhood spent largely in Philadelphia, Tanner began an art career in earnest in 1876,painting harbour scenes, landscapes, and animals from the Philadelphia Zoo.
Although many artists refused to accept an African-American apprentice, in 1879 Tanner enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, becoming the only black student.
In 1891 he traveled to Paris, France, to study at the Académie Julian. He also joined the American Art Students Club. Paris was a welcome escape for Tanner; within French art circles the issue of race mattered little.
In 1893 on a short return visit to the United States, Tanner painted his most famous work, The Banjo Lesson, while in Philadelphia.
Tanner was not limited to one specific approach to painting and drawing. His works reflect at times meticulous attention to detail and loose, expressive brushstrokes in others.
Tanner's Sand Dunes at Sunset hangs in the Green Room at the White House; it is the first painting by an African-American artist to have been purchased for the permanent collection of the White House.
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