Robert Scott Duncanson

Robert Scott Duncanson

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Robert Scott Duncanson

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Robert Scott Duncanson (1821 – December 21, 1872) was born in Seneca County, New York in 1821.Public Broadcasting System, Pre-Civil War: Robert Scott Duncanson. Duncanson’s father was a Canadian of Scottish descent and his mother was an African American, thus making him “a freeborn person of color.”Ketner, Joseph D. The Emergence of the African-American Artist: Robert S. Duncanson, 1821–1872. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993. ISBN 0826208800 Duncanson, an artist who is relatively unknown today, painted America, both physically and figuratively, at a time when the country was in turmoil. Beautiful and serene, Duncanson’s work sheds light on American art that has been forgotten over the years.


As a young boy, Duncanson lived with his father in Canada, while his mother lived in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, a village fifteen miles (24 km) north of Cincinnati. It was not until the summer of 1841 that Duncanson left Canada for Mount Pleasant. Upon his return to his mother’s home, Duncanson said, “I’ve come back to be an artist.”Bearden, Romare, and Harry Henderson. Black Master of American Art. New York: Zenith Books, 1972 Yearning to do more with paint than use it on houses, as he had been doing since 1838 with his house painting and decorating venture, he moved to Cincinnati, which seemed to be the...
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