Edward M. Bannister (1828 - 1901) was an African American artist in the late 19th century whose works focused on landscapes and seascapes, with an emphasis on pastoral subject matter. Although well known in his adopted home of Providence, Rhode Island, his talents were forgotten for over a century due to among other reasons, racial prejudice. We've pulled together a large collection of his works in this pattern set. There are some of his more recognized works included (Driving Home the Cows, The Doryman, Approaching Storm, Sabin Point). There are also many other examples of his landscape works, and also some still lifes, and a few portraits.

Patterns Included In This Set:


Driving Home the Cows

Man on Path with Trees

Sabin Point


Moon Over a Harbor

Fishing Shacks

Man with Two Oxen


The Oxen Wagon


The Doryman



Woman Walking Down Path

Moonlight Marina


Newspaper Boy

Approaching Storm

The Hay Gatherers



Figure on a Pier at Edge of Lake

Still Life with Fish


Walking with Cows

Sailboat in River

Trees near River


Cloudy Sky

Landscape with Trees

Landscape with Rocks


Landscape with Cows Grazing

Floral Still Life

The Old Homestead


Rocky Farm - Newport

Seaweed Gatherers

Saint Luke


Still Life


Ocean Cliffs


People Near Boat

This set is available at our Segmation Store and requires an authorized version of
SegPlay® PC to be already installed on your machine.

Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828Ė1901) was an African American landscape painter who painted in the tranquil and rustic style of the French Barbizon School. One of the most important artists in New England in the 19th century, he was the first African American to receive national recognition, winning the bronze medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, and was one of the founders of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Bannister was born in the small, coastal town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. His father was a black man from Barbados, in the West Indies and his mother was a white Canadian of Scottish ancestry. Bannisterís childhood was happy and his mother actively encouraged his interest in painting, but tragedy struck the family early: Edward Bannisterís father died when he was only six years old, bringing economic hardship upon the family. His mother died a few years later.

The death of his parents meant the young Bannister was left to fend for himself. At first, he became a servant in the household of a wealthy family in St. Andrews, but soon left to work as a cook on board a ship sailing the Eastern seaboard. After a few years, he settled in Boston where he worked as a barber in the black community.

Edward Bannister was entirely self-taught; he never had any formal art education, but still he loved to visit the museums and art galleries of Boston to teach himself about art and he kept practicing his skills. Sometime during the 1850s he learned the technique of daguerreotype. These early photographs were hand-tinted and Bannister soon found employment hand-coloring the images.

While he was working as a barber, Edward Bannister had met Christina Carteaux, an intelligent, accomplished and successful Rhode Island business woman who owned two beauty salons. They married in 1857. Christina was of Narragansett Indian descent and was very active in the fight against slavery and the struggle for minority rights. She was also well-off and encouraged her husband to paint full time. He opened his own studio and was soon exhibiting and selling his work in Boston, working in a style based on the landscapes of the Barbizon School. He also became an active advocate for the rights of black soldiers of the Union during the Civil War. Christina started raising funds to pay the difference in wages between black and white Union soldiers and she also set up a nursing home for aged black women that functioned until 1993.

Edward and Christina moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1870. There, Bannister joined the circle of local artists and became a highly respected member of the cityís artistic community. He was one of a group of Providence artists who founded the Rhode Island School of Design, which is still one of the nationís most prestigious art schools.

The proximity to the natural landscapes and shoreline enabled Bannister to further develop his style of landscape painting and in 1874 he produced his masterpiece, Under the Oaks, which won the bronze medal, the first prize, at the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. It was the highest honor that could be awarded to an American artist. The painting was sold to an art dealer after the show for $1,500 and all trace of the painting has since been lost.

Towards the end of his life Edward Bannister suffered from ill health and financial loss. As he grew older, the Barbizon Schoolís style of painting that he had adopted fell out of fashion and he started to lose his memory. In 1901 he died of a heart attack during a prayer meeting at his local church. After his death, his fellow artists organized an exhibition of his paintings, but his work then lay forgotten until the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 1970s when his art was rediscovered. He is now celebrated as one of the great masters of American painting.

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