Feb 06, 2007 - Sale 2102

Sale 2102 - Lot 1

Price Realized: $ 24,000
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000

Oil on cardstock board, circa 1880. 157x207 mm; 6 1/4x8 1/4 inches. Initialed in oil, lower right.

Provenance: private Connecticut collection.

Born and raised in Canada, where the British had abolished slavery, Edward Bannister was able to demonstrate and develop his talent at a young age. Working as a seaman, the young man travelled the Northeastern coast until he found work in the arts hand-coloring daguerrotypes in New York. In the early 1850s, Bannister established himself as a young regionalist painter in Boston, one of its first African-American artists. He studied at the Lowell Institute, and received his first commission in 1855. In 1871, Bannister and his wife moved to Providence, R.I. where he was active as a professional artist, and respected in its artistic community. Bannister helped found the Providence Art Club, which became the model for the Rhode Island School of Design. In his Barbizon-like landscapes, he produced a poetic view of tranquil lands with its people and animals in harmony. According to John Nelson Arnold, a fellow artist and friend, Bannister "looked at nature with a poet's feeling. Skies, rocks, fields were all absorbed and distilled through his soul and projected upon the canvas with a virile force and a poetic beauty." His paintings won awards, including the prestigious bronze (first) prize at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and a devoted group of local collectors. Sixteen of his works are now in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Samella Lewis, African American Art and Artists, p. 38; James A. Porter, Modern Negro Art.