In 1872, 13-year-old Henry Ossawa Tanner was walking with his father in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park when he saw a man making a painting of a tree. Then and there he decided he wanted to become an artist. With 15 cents from his parents, he promptly bought "dry colors and a couple of scraggy brushes." Becoming a successful professional artist has never been an easy thing to do, but if you were the son of a former slave in late 19th century America, it was... More >>>
Courtesy of MFAH
There is nothing saccharine or idealized in Tanner's work.