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Home News 2016 Clark Atlanta University Art Museum Loans Rare Henry O. Tanner Painting to National Museum of African American History and Culture

Clark Atlanta University Art Museum Loans Rare Henry O. Tanner Painting to National Museum of African American History and Culture

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2016

"Disciples Healing the Sick" Henry Ossawa Tanner (c.1930)


Contact: Mario Boone
404-987-0949 (cell)

ATLANTA (October 20, 2016)    One of the most historically significant pieces of artwork in the world is owned by Clark Atlanta University (CAU).  It’s called Disciples Healing the Sick (c. 1930) created by world-renowned artist Henry O. Tanner (1857-1931), a former art professor at CAU’s parent institution Clark College.  This oil on cardboard painting is the largest fully realized work by Tanner created during the latter portion of his life.  The technique utilized by Tanner in this piece has been found in only one other piece of artwork he created (Good Shepherd).  

Disciples Healing the Sick is a rare work that has very limited exhibition history.  Now, this treasured piece will be available for thousands to see on loan from CAU to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  The piece will remain on loan at the NMAAHC for five years.  Tanner’s work will be featured at the NMAAHC alongside another CAU alumnus Horace Henry (CC ’71).  Henry’s “One Day in January” is a historic collection of pictures of the first memorial service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

“It’s great that Clark Atlanta University’s Tanner is part of the opening exhibition for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture,” said Maurita N. Poole, Ph.D., director of the CAU Art Museum.  “This rare Tanner demonstrates the contribution he made to the development of American art.  I am glad that so many people will get the opportunity to see it,” Poole explained. 

Tanner was born in Pittsburgh six years before the end of the Civil War.  He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts.  In 1890 he expatriated to France where he would live out his remaining years.  He was considered an influencer to dozens and dozens of artists we revere today.

The CAU Art Museum houses a permanent collection of 1,215 works of art in two major categories: African American modern art and traditional African art.  The two collections include paintings, murals, sculptures and works on paper acquired through annual purchases and donations.  The CAU tradition of fostering the arts was born from an effort to provide exhibition opportunities to artists of color who were denied due to segregation. 

Category: Arts and Sciences
Keywords: Henry O. Tanner,