The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
The first African American artist to become a member of the National
Academy of Design was Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937); elected an associate
of the National Academy (ANA) in 1909, he became a full academician (NA) in
1927. His diploma presentation, on October 3, 1927, was The Miraculous Haul of Fishes (cover).
The work confirms his reputation as the foremost biblical painter of his time,
a distinction for which he had already received international recognition.
In a sense, Henry Tanner had followed in his father's footsteps. He became,
like his father, a preacher, but whereas Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner had
preached from the pulpit, Henry preached from his palette. Where his father
had used sound, he used color; where his father had used words, he used images.
Southgate MT. The Miraculous Haul of Fishes. JAMA. 2003;289(22):2909. doi:10.1001/jama.289.22.2909