Although Horace Pippin spent most of his time in upstate New York, the West Chester-born painter has had quite a cultural impact in Chester County. One of his most notable admirers was Albert C. Barnes, the Barnes Collection founder, writes Stephan Nartey for Face2Face Africa.
Pippin has 140 finished canvases of work in his lifetime. His oil paintings explore the themes of racial segregation, war, the daily struggles of Black Americans, and biblical scenes.
His highest auctioned piece, “Holy Mountain I,” sold for $3 million in 1944. He made significant contributions to the Harlem Renaissance movement in the twenties. Due to an injury, he took an unconventional approach to his art.
During WWI, Pippin fought with the all-Black 369th infantry, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. During his time in the war, he suffered a gunshot wound from a German sniper that made it hard for him to use his right arm. Despite the setback, Pippin was able to paint by placing the brush in his right hand and using his left hand to make the strokes.
According to the Brandywine River Art Museum, he was the first African American to have his work accepted by the Chester County Art Association.
Read more about Horace Pippin on Face2Face Africa.