My Visit to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art

Christine Crowley By Christine Crowley, 3rd Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

I had a wonderful experience yesterday visiting the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. The Henry O. Tanner exhibit was on display - and it was wonderful!

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine art

Yesterday I made a trip into Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. A wonderful museum on North Broad Street in downtown Philly. I had read about the Henry Tanner exhibit and was delighted to see that my high expectations were met.

Henry Tanner grew up in Philadelphia. He was black, the son of a preacher, and a very fine painter. He and his father were walking in Fairmont Park when Tanner was just a small boy. They came upon an artist painting on an easel. Tanner told his father that painting was what he wanted to do in his life. He went home, bought some brushes and canvas, and started painting. What a wonderful story! How many of us can say they knew when we were children what we wanted to do in life?

Tanner was accepted into the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as a student. He was a proflic painter but did not get the recognition he felt he deserved. He moved to France where he felt that he would be better accepted as a black painter. He was. His paintings of the Seine, Notra Dame, and the streets of Paris are exquisite. His technique of using light to direct the viewer's eyes is absolutely amazing. There is one painting in the exhibit of Mary and the baby Jesus sitting in a room looking outside through an open window. The light in the doorway holds you transfixed. I kept looking at that painting and wondering how he did it.

Tanner also did a painting of Salome which was a very unusual subject for him. It falls outside of any category his paintings fell into before and after he painted this painting. I liked it very much - the nude female he painted was beautifully done and wonderful, as always.

Tanner loved to paint street scenes - fisherman returning from the sea, workers returning home from their job and the like. He also painted Jesus with Mary in so many of his paintings. It was a favorite subject of his. My personal favorite was the three wise men riding their camels to Bethlehem. It is a mountain scene and a treat to the eyes.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, be sure to visit the PAFA. The Tanner exhibit will be there until April 15th. Happy traveling!


Art Exhibit, Museums, Pennsylvania Academy Of Fine Art, Philadelphia Museums, Tanner Exhibit

Meet the author

author avatar Christine Crowley
I am retired from a community college and working part-time. I've always loved to write and find it rewarding.

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author avatar Buzz
4th Mar 2012 (#)

Would have been nice if you uploaded at least a picture of one of his paintings here like "The Three Wise Men." Great page, nonetheless. Thanks Christine for sharing. God bless.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
4th Mar 2012 (#)

Ah, you are familiar with Tanner. Maybe I can edit and add the pic!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Yes that would be super Christine:0)

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author avatar Delicia Powers
10th Mar 2012 (#)

How wonderful...

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