Thursday, February 17, 2022

A Picture Book Biography For Black History Month

A few weeks ago, I was hunting for art-related picture books, when I came upon A Splash of Red: The Life And Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant with illustrations by Melissa Sweet. It's a lovely picture book biography.

Horace Pippin was an untrained African American folk artist who became successful in his own lifetime. He was born twenty years after the Civil War, but his work became popular in the 1930s, during a period when folk art was of particular interest. According to a write-up at the National Gallery of Art website, among his subjects was African American genre scenes, meaning scenes of everyday African American life.

Both in terms of what he accomplished with his work and what he painted, Horace Pippin seems like a fine subject for Black History Month. A Splash of Red, which gathered a lot of well-deserved attention when it was published in 2013, is a good introduction to him. 

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