Friday, July 12, 2013

Childhood Glimpses: Henry O. Tanner

At the age of 13, after observing an artist at work at a neighborhood park, Henry O. Tanner decided he wanted to be an artist. 

So this young man made the decision at that age, with a lot of odds against him. You see, his father wanted him to follow him into the ministry and wasn't so high on his son following the arts. Another factor which made this decision difficult is that when he made it, the year was somewhere around 1872 and he lived in Pennsylvania in the USA. Oh, and did I forget to mention? He was an African-American. 

Well, he did become a very talented artist but unfortunately had to move to France to be accepted. Seems racial prejudices and their confines were not present there. However, what I like about this man was that it appears he never lost sight of the religious training of his childhood. Apparently his most famous painting is called "The Banjo Lesson" but he's also well known for "Nicodemus Visiting Jesus," "Daniel in the Lion's Den," and "The Raising of Lazarus." And there were quite a few others. In fact, a quote attributed to him is this: "I will preach with my brush."

More information here and here about this interesting man, worth our children knowing about, I would say. And the Lord gave him direction in a park when he was just beginning his teen years.

Henry Tanner

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