Edward Mitchell Bannister (American, 1828-1901) Attributed: Untitled, (Cows Wading in the Water). Oil on Academy board, signed lower left, framed.
Edward Bannister was a painter who concentrated on pastoral landscape scenes depicting the beauty and serenity of nature. He was the first African American artist to receive a national award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 for his painting, “Under The Oaks." After discovering Bannister was Black, the award was reconsidered by the judges, but his fellow artists rallied in support of the original decision. Bannisters determination to succeed as an artist was reportedly fueled by an it the 1867 New York Herald stating, "the Negro seems to have an appreciation of art" but went on to assert that blacks were "manifestly unable to produce it."
Bannister spent the remainder of his years working producing Barbizon style landscapes of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. After Bannister's death, in 1901, Providence artists and his friends erected an eight foot boulder with a bronze palette and a poetic tribute to his memory. Today his work can be found in the collections of Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, and the National Museum of African American Art in D.C.
Dimensions:11.5 x 13.5 inches framed. 8 x 10 inches board.
Private Collection, The current owner acquired the painting from the Frank Campanella Estate.