Edward Mitchell Bannister
Edward Mitchell Bannister was one of the few African American artists to have a career and be recognized for his talents in the 19th century. Born in Canada, he was largely self-taught and spent most of his life in the Eastern United States. In 1876 his painting won a first place bronze medal at the Philadelphia Centenial Exposition, the judges tried to rescind this honor when they discovered he was of African heritage. His fellow artists rallied around him and made sure that this did not happen.
He worked mainly in Providence, Rhode Island, and was given a retrospective when he passed.