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Henry Ossawa Tanner

January 20–April 14, 1991

Including works lent by public and private collections throughout the U.S. and France, the exhibition will present a major retrospective of the work of Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), the foremost African-American artist at the turn of the century. Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Philadelphia, Tanner studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under the renowned artist Thomas Eakins. Due to the prejudice found in America, Tanner sailed for France in 1891, where he was to settle for the rest of his life, with brief visits to the United States. During a visit to Philadelphia in 1893-1894, Tanner painted one of his most famous canvases The Banjo Lesson. After his return to Paris in 1894, Tanner became especially renowned for his portrayals of Biblical subjects.


Philadelphia Museum of Art
Detroit Institute of Arts
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
M. H. de Young Memorial Museum

Main Building


Darrel Sewell
Dewey Mosby

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