Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901). Canadian-American Artist
Edward Bannister was the son of a black immigrant from Barbados and his Scottish-Canadian wife. The family lived in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, where Edward was born.
He settled in Boston, where made his living as a hairdresser and as a hand-tinter of photographs. In a while he turned to painting and shared a studio with Edwin Lord Weeks. In Boston his atmospheric landscapes found a ready market and in 1876 Bannister received a first-class medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Edward Mannister was the first African-American artist to win a national award, but the judges were surprised by his ethnic background.
Bannister painted landscapes with muted colors that recalled the works of the French Barbizon school so popular among New England collectors during the 2nd half of the 19th century.