Happy Birthday Horace Pippin

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West Chester native Horace Pippin (February 22, 1888 – July 6, 1946) was a self-taught artist who became famous in his lifetime for work that expressed his own view of the world.  He was a soldier in France during World War I and said that it “brought out all the art in me,” an interest that was evident in his childhood.  His subjects included religion, war, historic events, a few portraits, still lifes, and images that illustrated prejudice, which he experienced as an African American in daily life.  Pippin’s work appeared in local art shows of the Colored Artists of West Chester, in Philadelphia galleries, and in nationally recognized art museums.  Burnt panel painting was one of his techniques.  Pippin used a hot metal rod to “draw” a picture on a wooden panel and then added color.  The Chester County Historical Society is fortunate to have a pair of Pippin’s burnt panel paintings in its collection.  Here is an image of one of them.

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