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Henry Ossawa Tanner

American Artist

Mathews’s standard biography of Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), based on extensive research in archives in this country and family records in France. An important artist in the salons of Paris, Tanner was born and studied in Philadelphia but left America for Europe, where his race would not stand in the way of his ambition. Providing a full account of the artist’s life and art, Henry Ossawa Tanner gives readers insight into the art trends of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as into the struggle of African Americans of this period.

"[Tanner] ranks not only as the first truly distinguished Negro American artist but as one of America’s first outstanding successes in the salons of Europe. In this work [Mathews] has significantly added to our knowledge of the history of American art."—John Hope Franklin, from the Foreword

"The book gives the main facts of Tanner’s life and successfully places his artistic work in its historic context....It is a welcome and useful volume."—August Meier, Journal of American History

280 pages | 16 p. of photographs | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1969

Table of Contents

List of Plates
Editor’s Foreword
1. Early Years
2. Studies under Thomas Eakins
3. Life in the South
4. The Artist in America, 1891
5. City of Light
6. Salon Success
7. "Raising of Lazarus"
8. The Turn of the Century
9. Changing Scenes
10. Happy Years
11. The Years Immediately Preceding World War I
12. The War
13. Aftermath of the War
14. Time of Change
15. Years of Stress
16. The Depression
17. Last Years
18. The End

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