Matlock’s Black History Month series spotlights History Maker’s Part 3

The third and final installment of our series acknowledging African Americans who shape American history, celebrates Henry O. Tanner, an artist who touched the hearts of millions with his artistic tributes to the human experience.  Mr. Tanner’s evolution from a boy in Pittsburg to a Paris legend is one worth noting.

Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) The most distinguished African American artist of the nineteenth century, Henry Ossawa Tanner was the first African American artist to achieve international acclaim. Born on June 21, 1859, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to an AME Bishop and former slave, Tanner decided to become an artist when he saw a painter at work during a walk in Fairmount Park near his home. Two of his most important works depicting African American subjects are The Banjo Lesson of 1893 and The Thankful Poor of 1894. In 1895 Tanner’s “Resurrection of Lazarus” was purchased by the French government and was added to the collection of the Louvre. In 1908 his first one-man exhibition of religious paintings in the United States was held at the American Art Galleries in New York. Mr. Tanner became the first African American to receive a full academician of the National Academy of Design in 1927. To learn more about this great history maker, go to…….