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Sandra L. Tatman

African American architect. Born and educated in Philadelphia, Abele was the chief designer in the firm of Horace Trumbauer. Unknown for most of his life, Julian Abele has become renowned as a pioneer African American architect.

Abele attended the Institute for Colored Youth and Brown Preparatory School before enrolling at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art, where in ...

Article

Camara Dia Holloway

African American photographer. Ball’s parents, William and Susan Ball, were freeborn Americans of African descent. J. P. Ball learned how to make daguerreotypes from a black Bostonian, John P. Bailey. He opened his first photographic enterprise in Cincinnati, OH, in 1845. Black-owned businesses seemed viable in this abolitionist stronghold and key conduit to the West. After a failed first venture and time as an itinerant photographer, he returned and opened Ball’s Great Daguerrean Gallery of the West in ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born in 1825, in Virginia; died in 1905, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Photographer (daguerreotypes). Portraits, genre subjects, architectural subjects.

Born a free man in Virginia, James Presley Ball became one of the first African American photographers after learning the daguerreotype process from the Bostonian John B. Bailey, also an African American, in ...

Article

Canadian, 19th century, male.

Born 2 November 1828, in St Andrews (New Brunswick); died 9 January 1901, in Providence (Rhode Island).

Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist, engraver, photographer. Portraits, religious subjects, genre scenes, landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes.

Bannister's father was form Barbados and his mother was Scottish. He was born in Canada right after slavery was abolished. He went to live in New York were he was a sailor and settled in Boston in ...

Article

American painter . Bannister grew up in St Andrews, a small seaport in New Brunswick, Canada. His interest in art was encouraged by his mother, and he made his earliest studies, in drawing and watercolour, at the age of ten. After working as a cook on vessels on the Eastern seaboard, he moved in ...

Article

Margaret Rose Vendryes

African American sculptor and painter. Barthé was raised a devout Roman Catholic Creole. He was also the only African American artist of his generation to consistently portray the black male nude. Although closeted throughout his life, sensual figures such as Stevedore (1937; Hampton, VA, U. Mus.) expose his homosexuality. Barthé’s elementary education ended in ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 1820; died 1900.

Painter. Portraits, landscapes.

David Bowser Bustill was described as a 'free man of colour'. He was the grandson of Cyrus Bustill, founder of the African Free Society and a member of the St Thomas Free African Church in Philadelphia. David Bowser Bustill was active in Philadelphia ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 September 1940, in Connelsville (Pennsylvania).

Painter, print artist.

Peter Bradley studied at Cranbrook Academy, Bloomsfield, Michigan, the Society of Arts and Crafts in Detroit, and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. He settled in New York. Bradley has taken part in various group shows, such as: ...

Article

American, 19th century.

Born 1841, in Harrisburg (Pennsylvania); died 1918, in St Paul (Minnesota).

Painter, draughtsman, lithographer, cartographer, illustrator. Landscapes.

Grafton Tyler Brown was the son of emancipated slaves who had come from Maryland in 1837. He moved with them to San Francisco in 1861...

Article

Gina M. D’Angelo

African American painter and lithographer. Brown was the first African American artist to portray California and the Pacific Northwest. One of many artists who migrated West in the years after the gold rush, Brown began his career in San Francisco in the 1860s as a commercial lithographer, and made his mark in the 1880s as a landscape painter of the Pacific Northwest....

Article

Italian, 19th century, male.

Born 1833, in Milan; died 1884, in Milan.

Sculptor. Busts.

Calvi was a pupil at the Accademia in Milan and later of Seleroni. He took part in a large number of exhibitions in Europe and America, notably at the Royal Academy, London, between ...

Article

Sandra Sider

African American painter. Charles graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, in 1985, having studied advertising design, illustration, and painting. He received his MFA from the University of Houston in 1993, and subsequently taught at the University of Texas at Austin. His paintings, which manipulate images of historical black stereotypes, have generated critical controversy and hostile reactions from viewers. Charles, however, saw himself as investigating these images and their place in American history, exploring and exposing their negativity. He typically signs his work with an actual copper penny, oriented to display the profile of Abraham Lincoln....

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

African American painter and sculptor. Dial was born into poverty and left school at age nine to work various jobs, including fieldwork. At age ten, his mother gave up Thornton and his half-brother Arthur to be raised by their great-grandmother. Upon her death they were taken in by their aunt for two years, and then given to their great-aunt, Sarah Dial Lockett, in Bessemer, AL....

Article

Joseph D. Ketner II and Wendy Jean Katz

African American painter. A self-taught artist and landscape painter of the Hudson River school tradition, Duncanson was the first African American artist to receive international recognition (see fig.). Born into a family of painters and handymen, Duncanson first worked as a house-painter and glazier in Monroe, MI. By ...

Article

African American, 19th century, male.

Active in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Born 1821, in Seneca County (New York), or 1822 according to some sources; died 21 December 1872, in Detroit (Michigan).

Painter, watercolourist, photographer. Figures, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, urban townscapes, still-lifes, mural compositions. Hudson River School...

Article

American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1882, in Nashville (Tennessee); died 7 February 1951, in Nashville.

Sculptor. Religious subjects, figures, animals.

William Edmondson was the son of former slaves who were emancipated following the Civil War, and grew up illiterate. He worked at various jobs, in particular, for the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St Louis Railroads until ...

Article

Bridget Cooks

African American sculptor. Edmondson is known for his blocky, abstracted images of animals and angels. Edmondson was born around 1874 in Davidson County near Nashville, TN, where he lived and worked his entire life. While working for the St Louis Railroad in 1907, Edmondson became disabled and took a job as a janitor at Woman’s Hospital. In ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

African American painter. As a self-taught artist who has been labeled a southern folk artist, outsider artist, a Surrealist painter and a visionary, Evans created highly personal works inspired by her private and very vivid dream world.

The descendant of a Trinidadian woman brought to the United States as a slave, Evans was the only child of farmers who lived in rural Pender County, NC. In early childhood she moved with her parents to Wilmington, NC, where she attended school. At 16 she married Julius Evans and had three sons. She worked as a domestic and later as gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington (from ...

Article

Karen Kurczynski

Alternative art space founded by Stefan Eins (b 1943) at 2803 Third Avenue near 147th Street in the South Bronx, New York, from 1978 to 1993. Eins arrived in New York from Austria in 1967. He referred to Fashion Moda as a museum of “Science, Art, Technology, Invention, and Fantasy,” the title of its inaugural exhibition in ...

Article

Revised and updated by Margaret Barlow

African American sculptor. Her long career anticipated and included the period of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and early 1930s (see African American art, §I, 2). Born Meta Vaux Warrick, she studied at the Pennsylvania Museum and School for Industrial Art, Philadelphia, from ...