Mother of Henry O. Tanner

  • Henry Ossawa Tanner, Mother of Henry O. Tanner, n.d., oil on plywood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Dr. Nicholas Zervas, 1983.95.213

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Henry Ossawa Tanner’s mother, Sarah Elizabeth Miller, was one of eleven children born to a slave who sent her children to freedom by the Underground Railroad. Members of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society divided the children into various families, sending Sarah to Pittsburgh. In this portrait, Tanner captured the wisdom and experience of a woman who had endured much in her life, rising from slavery to raise well-educated and successful children. Tanner kept this portrait in his personal collection and spoke affectionately of it in letters to his family.

Title
Mother of Henry O. Tanner
Artist
Date
n.d.
On View
Dimensions
13 x 9 1/4 in. (33.0 x 23.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Dr. Nicholas Zervas

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on plywood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait female – Tanner, – bust
Object Number
1983.95.213
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI