ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Edward Mitchell Bannister- 19th Century African American Artist

Updated on February 9, 2016

Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901) was an African-American and Canadian American tonalist painter born in St. Andrews, New Brunswick in November of 1828. As a young boy, he gained attention in school for his sketches. His love for art was demonstrated before he was ten years old.

In 1840, Bannister moved to New England. As a young man, he made his living at sea as a cook on a coaster. He would sail his small yachts on Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor for more than 25 years. In 1856, he married Narragansett Indian Christiana Carteux.

Bannister's early works were scriptural scenes. His appreciation for nature lead him to deeply examine the sunset and its clouds and shadows. It wasn't until later in his life that he began to add figures, accessories and cattle to his work.

Before his arrival in Providence in 1871, Bannister spent some time in New York working with a photographer on his solar prints. He would paint scriptural scenes. It was suggested that he enter art as a profession and, thus, Bannister developed into an "enthusiastic artist". He won a major award for his painting " Under The Oaks" which depicted oaks Bannister had seen in Potowamut, Rhode Island. His other paintings included scenes from his visits near Knightsville, Rhode Island.

In 1878, Bannister met at his studio with George W. Whitaker and Charles W. Stetson to begin the process of gaining art interest from collectors, amateurs and dealers. On February 19, 1880 they formed the Providence Art Club. Bannister was the second signer of the document that formed the club.

Bannister would go on to receive a medal from the Centennial Exposition, a silver medal from the Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association in 1881 and 1884 and a bronze in 1878. Unfortunately, in his later years, Bannister was not very successful. In fact, due to racial prejudice he work was forgotten for almost a century. On January 9, 1901, Bannister died of a heart attack while in attendance at a prayer meeting at his Elmwood Avenue Church in Providence, the Free Baptist Church. He died a poor man.

With the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 1970's, Bannister's work once again surfaced and gained recognition. A memorial committee made of up the day's leading artists and Providence Art Club members raised funds to erect a large boulder "with a bronze palette and scroll" in honor of Bannister. The boulder is located near his grave in the North Burial Ground in Providence. Rhode Island College named its art gallery after Bannister.

Sources: "Edward Mitchell Bannister-wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" (

Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901)
Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cohoyo1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Nadine Breen 

      2 years ago from Barrington, Rhode Island

      You are very welcome. Thanks for reading!

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I was not previously aware of Edward Mitchell Bannister. You stimulated me to take a look at some of his paintings. Thanks!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)