Black History Month 2017 – Life Through Art – Post 1

Welcome to Black History Month 2017!

Although this has been a bleak start to the year for some of us we are still going to celebrate the greatness in Black History!

This year I am going to focus on Black art – painters, sculptors, cartoonists, and artists.  I was inspired to focus on this because since I have moved home I met a man who is a curator of Black art.  My hope is to be able to interview him for this blog so you can know a bit about his life too.

Domino Players, by Horace Pippin

Today we will start with Horace Pippin.  Horace Pippin was a self-taught artist that was born on February 22, 1888 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  He started creating art as a child and won accolades for his craft, but didn’t start getting serious about it until after World War I.

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Pippin was part of the African-American 369th Infantry, aka Harlem’s Hell Fighters. (The entire unit eventually received France’s Croix de Guerre honor.)  While in France Pipping lost the use of his right arm after being shot which limited his ability to paint.

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When he returned he had began to produce burnt-wood panels, a technique known as pyrography, but his preferred medium, despite his disability, was oil painting.

He went on to produce dozens of paintings over the course of his career.  He was most famous for his depictions of trench-warfare, African-American life, biblical imagery, and his highly publicized paintings of the abolitionist John Brown and President Abraham Lincoln.

He was also the first African-American painter to express his concerns about war and social-political injustices in his art, and his compositions on those themes are forceful and striking.

For more information about Horace Pippin check out the links below:

The Life and Art of Horace Pippin