Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit
Jan 31, 2012 | News Archive
The Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts debuts its new exhibition "Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit" from January 28 to April 15, 2012. 

By: Marie Drakewood

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A new exhibition in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, starting January 28- April 15, 2012. This exhibition is called Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit in honor of an African American artist named Henry Ossawa Tanner. With touring the exhibition you will take an account of Tanner’s artistic development through the influences of his teachers, peers and world traveling.  His work can be classified in the contemporary American and French Art.  

An event for the whole family, PAPFA offers free admission Sundays!

History of Henry Ossawa Tanner:

Henry Ossawa Tanner was an American painter, who gained international acclaim for his depiction of landscapes and biblical themes. As a young man, Tanner studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he was the only African American.  It has been said that students and faculty were so racist, that they tied him to his easel, and threw him out on broad street. It was because of his marginalization from the Art community in the US that Tanner moved to Paris in 1891. He enrolled at the Academie Julian, and then returned to the United States in 1893. By 1894 Henry’s painting were exhibited at the annual Paris Salon, gaining him recognition in the Parisian art community and awarded an honorable mention.  Tanner painted Nicodemus Visiting Jesus, which won the PAFA’s Lippincott Prize the same year he received a metal at the Universal Exposition in Paris. In 1927 he became the first African American to be granted full membership in the National Academy of Design in New York. After his death, in 1991 the Philadelphia Museum of Art mounted a touring retrospective of his works.