Works in the Collection
Edward Mitchell Bannister was born a free black in 1826 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. Bannister served as a seaman before moving to Boston in 1848. He was an early colorist of photographs but had little formal artistic training – only a brief period of study at Boston’s Lowell Institute. Bannister developed into one of the most advanced of America’s landscape artists working in the plein-air style of France’s Barbizon School. After moving to Rhode Island, where he was the founder of the prestigious Providence Art Club, he was the first African American artist to win a major prize – at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876. This piece was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Similar examples of these rare watercolor sketches by Bannister are in the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. Bannister died in 1901.