Henry Ossawa Tanner

The first African American painter to gain international fame, Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) is known as the most distinguished African American artist of the nineteenth century. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tanner’s family soon moved and settled in Philadelphia, where his early interest in art developed. His father strongly discouraged a career in art, pushing his son to pursue a career in the milling business. Being a frail young man with poor health, the milling industry proved itself to be too strenuous for Tanner, resulting in him becoming incredibly ill. Read more