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Sand Dunes at Sunset, Atlantic City

This painting of a windy beach with rising, sandy dunes is by African-American landscape painter Henry Ossawa Tanner. It is the first painting by an African-American artist acquired for the White House Collection. The painting looks out from the beach towards the ocean, though only small waves cresting on the horizon and two far off sailboats are visible. The dunes and shore take up the majority of the canvas and Tanner actually mixed sand into his pigments to better capture the rough texture. Tanner, whose father was an African Methodist Episcopal Church minister and whose mother had been born into slavery and escaped, was born in Pennsylvania. In 1891 he moved to France to escape racism and the limitations imposed on his race in the United States.
Henry Ossawa Tanner
Date of Work
oil paint
White House Collection/White House Historical Association