Blue Hole, Little Miami River (1851)
Robert Scott Duncanson
For African American artists in the 19th century, the only means to artistic
acceptance and success required adherence to European aesthetics and a rejection
of their personal experiences. The African American artists who achieved success
and recognition were indebted to abolitionists and abolitionist organizations,
which provided commissions and scholarships to study abroad in Rome or Paris.
Despite having to work within the confines of European traditions, a number of
African American artists, such as Robert Scott Duncanson, were able to make
contributions to the emerging American tradition of landscape painting.