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Sat, 12.27.1873

William A. Harper, Artist born

William. A. Harper

William A. Harper was born on this date in 1873. He was a Black artist.

He was born in the village of Canfield, near Cayuga, Ontario, Canada.  At age 8, Harper and his family moved to Illinois and settled on a farm, where he developed his love for nature and art.  He attended a small college in Jacksonville, Illinois, and later went to Chicago and enrolled at the Chicago Institute School of the Art, wherein, in 1900, he graduated with honors.

After teaching in Houston for two years, Harper traveled to France and later studied with Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris. He was highly influenced by the Barbizon School and Impressionistic style of painting.  He was considered one of the most gifted Black artists at the turn of the 20th century.  William Harper died prematurely during a sketching trip to Mexico in 1910.

To be an Artist




A History of African American Artists from 1792 to Present
by Romare Bearden & Harry Henderson
Copyright 1993 by Romare Bearden & Harry Henderson
Pantheon Books, NY
ISBN 0-394-57016-2

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